Powell says he will bounce back
FORMER 100m world record holder Asafa Powell says he will bounce back from the disappointment of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Powell timed 11.99 seconds in the men's 100m final on August 5 after pulling up with a groin injury midway down the track in the race which was eventually won by his countryman Usain Bolt in 9.63 seconds.
The race was touted as being the fastest Olympic final in history with seven of the eight finalists finishing in under 10 seconds.
This was the latest in a string of disappointments at major championships for Powell, who finished fifth in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.
He claimed a bronze at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin in 2009 while he had been expected to finish with no less than a silver behind Bolt, who won the race in a world record 9.58 seconds.
Powell also suffered an injury which kept him out of the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
The affable athlete has come under much criticism from Jamaicans, who question the veracity of his claims of injury during major competitions as well.
Powell, who underwent treatment in Miami on the day of the 100m final at the Jamaica Senior Athletics Championships in June, made a quiet return to the island on August 13 following the London Games while most of the other members of the MVP Track and Field Club remained in Europe to compete on he international circuit.
He told the Jamaica Observer that despite the constant criticism, he is holding the faith.
"Personally I am good. People always have stuff to say, but I am strong and I still bounce back," Powell stated, adding that he was proud of the country's 12-medal haul, its best ever.
"London was one of the best Olympics and Jamaica did so well, so I am happy. I am excited about it."
His team-mate, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who returned to the island on Saturday after winning the IAAF Diamond League and collecting three medals, including gold in the 100m in London, implored Jamaicans and the local government to support athletes when they go out to compete.
Powell, who collected Fraser-Pryce and her family from the airport, added his voice to the call.
"I think the athletes here they just need support that's all. The athletes that are fortunate and the less fortunate ones they need that kind of help," he concluded.