Asafa Powell retires from track and field – Home of the Olympic Channel

Jamaican Asafa Powell, who held the men’s 100m world record before Usain Bolt, has retired from track and field.

Powell held a 40th birthday and retirement party on Wednesday. Bolt filmed a video to wish his countryman well upon retirement.

Powell last raced in May 2021, according to World Athletics, and did not compete at Jamaica’s Olympic Trials last year.

He raced at the Olympics in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016, earning 4x100m relay gold in Rio. His best individual finish was fifth in the 100m in 2004 and 2008.

Powell owns the record of 97 career sub-10-second 100m performances, the last coming on Sept. 1, 2016.

Powell lowered the 100m world record to 9.77 seconds on June 14, 2005. He held the mark until Bolt broke it on May 31, 2008, for the first of three times. He is the fastest man in history without an Olympic or world 100m title.

In 2004, Powell had the fastest semifinal time at the Athens Games, then placed fifth in the final won by Justin Gatlin.

In 2008, after injuries early in the year, Powell had the second-fastest semifinal time in Beijing. He placed fifth in the Olympic final again.

In 2012, Powell pulled up in the 100m final and was the last finisher. In 2016, he made the Jamaican Olympic team strictly for the relay.

Powell is the fourth-fastest man in history with a personal best of 9.72 seconds, trailing contemporaries Bolt (9.58), Tyson Gay (9.69) and Yohan Blake (9.69).

Bolt retired in 2017. Gay, also 40, last raced in May 2021. Blake, 32, ran 9.85 in June, his best time since 2012, when he took Olympic 100m and 200m silver behind Bolt.

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