CWG:Collins Out, Asafa Doubt

Collins out of 100m, Powell in doubt
Scott Gullan

FORMER 100m world champion Kim Collins is out of the Commonwealth Games and world record-holder Asafa Powell remains in doubt.

That’s the disturbing update coming out of the Caribbean from Jamaican veteran Sandie Richards, who has arrived in Melbourne to begin her Games preparation.

Collins, the 2003 world champion from St Kitts-Nevis who won the bronze medal at last year’s world championships in Helsinki, has not resumed training, which effectively rules him out of being in Melbourne in March.

While Jamaica’s Powell has started training after being sidelined for most of last year with a groin injury, Richards said there was still some doubt whether he would be ready to race within two months.

“He is training, but he is still not 100 per cent,” she said.

"It really depends on the injury. He doesn’t want to come back and re-injure it so early in the season.

“When I left home a couple of weeks ago, he still wasn’t sure about (coming to Australia).”

Richards said Aileen Bailey, a member of Jamaica’s 4 x 100m gold medal-winning team at the Athens Olympics, was also an unlikely starter for the Games.

Richards, who is staying with good friend and former rival Cathy Freeman in Melbourne, isn’t expecting to race 400m until next month’s Victorian championships at the MCG.

One of her opponents will be Jana Pittman, who finds herself embroiled in a dispute with the Australian selectors over whether she must race the 400m hurdles at next month’s selection trials.

The former world champion wants to race over the flat 400m because she is considering trying to double up at the Games, but she is wary of the risk of injury if she is forced to do too much at the February 2-5 trials.

There is no other runner anywhere near Pittman over the hurdles in Australia, so the trial would be a farce.

Pittman’s coach and fiance Chris Rawlinson has written to Athletics Australia asking for an exemption as doing both events would mean racing four times in three days.

Pittman, who missed the 2005 world titles because of a back injury, will race over 400m hurdles and 200m at the Telstra A-series meeting in Canberra next week.

She said a final decision on whether she also ran the 400m at the Games would depend on how she performed in the Telstra A-series, given that Olympic 400m champion Tonique Williams-Darling will be in Melbourne.