Gatlin pulls out of Powell clash


Justin Gatlin has withdrawn from his eagerly-awaited clash with fellow 100m world record-holder Asafa Powell in London on 28 July.

Gatlin picked up a leg injury last month which is more serious than had first been thought.

Both sprinters have equalled the world record of 9.77 seconds this season but have yet to meet on the track in 2006.

Powell, who set the original world record in 2005, is still scheduled to run at the meeting at Crystal Palace.

Gatlin said his right calf had become swollen and slightly strained after the US championships in Indianapolis four weeks ago where he defended his title.

It also caused him to miss the Athens IAAF Super Grand Prix earlier this month.

Gatlin and Powell have not gone head-to-head on the track since the Crystal Palace meet last July.

The American won that race after Powell pulled up with a groin strain which subsequently put him out of the World Championships.

The Jamaican Commonwealth champion believes he is much stronger now and has already run under 10 seconds five times this season - including equalling his world record in Gateshead.

Gatlin’s agent Renaldo Nehemiah has already stated he does not want the duo to meet too many times in order to maintain interest but Powell has no qualms about meeting his rival.

“I’ve been going to all my meets,” Powell said. “I’m ready to run against him.”

With no major championships this season, it is not now known when the pair are likely to meet.

I hope the injury isn’t too serious

Damn agents, Forget the damn money, im sure they are not broke at all. They should have been raced. They gone have it all hyped and then it will turn out like bailey and johnson or mo and johnson, a complete bust. It has been hyped up enough now he is hurt and will not race powell this year but if he does he might not be 100%. Damn i hate when cash is envolved.

My guess would be that Gatlin will miss the rest of season “due to injury”. Thus allowing him to come close or run better than 9.76 next year. The Doha race was without a doubt extra ordinary.