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Asafa Powell set to give Games a miss

other Updated: Aug 22, 2010 23:46 IST

Agencies
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Defending 100m champion Asafa Powell is set to join fellow Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt in pulling out of the Delhi Commonwealth Games, the build-up to which has been marred by withdrawals by star athletes and corruption allegations.

The reigning world 100m bronze medallist and former world record holder had pulled out of recent meetings in Stockholm, London, Paris and Zurich due to injuries to his groin, back and hamstring.

His agent Paul Doyle said fitness issues coupled with the timing of the Commonwealth Games almost certainly rules out Powell from defending his 100m gold in Delhi.

"A final decision is imminent, but it's looking extremely unlikely at best that Asafa will be in India," Doyle said.

Other stars who have already announced their non-participation are marathon-runner Paula Radcliffe, world and European heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis, athletes Jenny Meadows and Natasha Danvers.

Powell suffered back and hamstring injuries earlier this year and pulled out of a sprint showdown with Tyson Gay and Bolt in Stockholm.

"The timing couldn't be much worse for Asafa," said Doyle.

"For him, just as for Usain, the next two-year cycle means everything and he doesn't want anything, such as his pre-season being put back or his injuries flaring up again, to affect this," he added.

Powell's withdrawal comes as another blow to the Delhi Games organisers, who are already battling allegations of financial irregularities.

British swimmer tells parents to stay away

Concerned about security, British swimmer Fran Halsall has asked her parents not to accompany her to India.

Halsall, who won the silver in the 4X100m freestyle and 4X100m medley relays in Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, said she won't be able to concentrate on swimming if her parents, Andrew and Diane travel to India to support her.

"I don't want to be worrying about them when I'm in the pool, so I've asked them not to come," Halsall, who won five medals for Britain at the recent European Championships.

Scottish cyclist ready for games

Edinburgh: Upcoming Scottish cyclist Kevin Stewart (19) will compete in the track sprint in Delhi in October as part of a team of 19 cyclists to travel to the games — Scotland's largest ever contingent. Kevin said, "I'm really thrilled to be selected for Scotland for the Commonwealth Games. It means so much to me, and it is going to be such an experience to be part of it all.