KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Former 100-meter world record-holder Asafa Powell won the final of the men’s 100 meters at Jamaica’s trials by clocking a time of 9.84 late Friday.
The 32-year-old Powell clinched the win with a strong finish to earn a spot at August’s world championships in China. Powell dominated three rounds of races at the National Stadium in the capital of his Caribbean homeland.
Nickel Ashmeade finished second with 9.91, ahead of Kemar Bailey-Cole with 9.97 and Nesta Carter with 9.98. On Friday, Yohan Blake, the 2011 world champion in the 100, failed to reach the final after finishing sixth in his semifinal with a time of 10.35.
After his victory in the sprinting powerhouse’s capital of Kingston, Powell said he’s in “hard training” for the world championships and he’s “going there for the gold medal.”
Once the top sprinter on the track, Powell lowered the world record in the 100 to 9.77 in 2005, then 9.74 in 2008 before being eclipsed by countryman Usain Bolt. Powell was the Jamaican athlete who first put Jamaica’s dominating athletics prowess on center stage in the 21st century. But unlike Bolt, he could never win the big one.
Bolt’s coach made a late decision to withdraw the globe’s top sprinter from the Jamaica trials. Bolt already has a berth secured in August’s world championships to defend his 100 and 200 titles.
Bolt and Powell are both expected to compete at Diamond League meets in July in Paris and Lausanne, Switzerland.
Last year, a Jamaican disciplinary panel banned Powell from athletics for 18 months after he tested positive in 2013 for a banned stimulant. But the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced that ban to six months.
In the women’s 100m, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce dominated the field with a world-leading 10.79 seconds. She beat her own previous world-leading time of 10.81.
Her strong Friday performance is a good sign for Fraser-Pryce who has working to recapture her top sprinting form before the worlds, where she’s the defending champion in the 100 and 200.
Natasha Morrison earned second place with 11.03. Veronica Campbell-Brown came third with 11.06, ahead of Sherone Simpson who clocked 11.14.