SYDNEY Former 100 meters world record holder Asafa Powell has been forced to withdraw from his first meeting since last year's Olympic final because of a hamstring injury, Athletics Australia said on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old Jamaican, who has run the 100m in less than 10 seconds more times than any other sprinter, was scheduled to race at the IAAF World Challenge in Melbourne on Saturday.
The injury also forced Powell to pull out of the final of Monday's Stawell Gift, a 131-year-old handicap race run on grass in a small town in Australia's Victoria state.
Powell suffered a groin injury in the Olympic final in London last year and trailed home last as his compatriots Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake won gold and silver.
Britain's Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford will renew his rivalry with Australian silver medalist Mitch Watt at Saturday's meeting at Lakeside Stadium.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)