Asafa Powell, who held the men’s 100m world record before Usain Bolt, did not race the opening rounds of the Jamaica Olympic Trials 100m, putting him in line to miss the Olympics for the first time since 2000.
Powell, 38, owns the record of 97 career sub-10-second 100m performances, the last coming on Sept. 1, 2016. He did not make the 100m final at the Jamaican Championships in 2017 or 2019, missing both world championships teams.
Powell lowered the 100m world record to 9.77 seconds on June 14, 2005. He held the mark until Bolt broke it on May 31, 2008, for the first of three times.
Powell is the fastest man in history without an Olympic or world 100m title.
In 2004, he had the fastest semifinal time at the Athens Games, then placed fifth in the final won by Justin Gatlin. In 2008, after injuries early in the year, Powell had the second-fastest semifinal time in Beijing. He placed fifth in the Olympic final again. In 2012, Powell pulled up in the final and was the last finisher. In 2016, he made the Jamaican team strictly for the relay and earned his lone gold medal.
Powell is the fourth-fastest man in history with a personal best of 9.72 seconds, trailing contemporaries Bolt (9.58), Tyson Gay (9.69) and Yohan Blake (9.69). Bolt retired in 2017. Gay failed to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Blake ranks 28th in the world this year and first among Jamaicans. He can make his third Olympic team on Friday.
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