Jamaica's Powell pulls up injured in Rome

ROME Fri Jul 11, 2008 3:00pm EDT

Asafa Powell of Jamaica (C) runs during the first heat of the men's 100 metres at the Golden Gala IAAF Golden League at the Olympic stadium in Rome July 11, 2008. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

Asafa Powell of Jamaica (C) runs during the first heat of the men's 100 metres at the Golden Gala IAAF Golden League at the Olympic stadium in Rome July 11, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

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ROME (Reuters) - Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell's Olympic preparations suffered a slight setback on Friday when he pulled up in his heat of the 100 meters at Rome's Golden Gala with a groin strain.

The former world record holder finished fifth in the heat despite pulling up abruptly at the end and qualified for the final with a time of 10.19 seconds.

But he decided not to race on even though his manager Paul Doyle said the problem was not serious.

"It's nothing," Doyle told reporters. "He just felt his groin cramp up. He'll be fine, but he's not going to take any chances in an Olympic year.

"He's had problems with his groin in the past and got over them every time."

The 25-year-old, who has missed much of the season with a chest problem, lost to Usain Bolt at the Jamaican Olympic trials last month and saw his compatriot steal his world record in May by running 9.72.

(Editing by Ken Ferris)