Sport

CB Group UWI 5K to honour Asafa Powell

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

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It's a fairly long way from barrelling down the tracks of the world, and an even longer way from tinkering with cars and harbouring mechanic dreams in the hills of St Catherine.

Come Sunday, November 12, Asafa Powell, who will turn 35 later that month, will be specially honoured by the patrons and organisers of the CB Group-UWI 5K, the latest in a list of annual honorees that the event has recognized since its inception in 2012.

Celebrated head coach, Racers Track Club's Glen Mills, was the first such honoree. Other honorees are Molly Rhone, for her service in the field of netball; Michael Fennell, former president of the Jamaica Olympic Association; and Alfred “Frano” Francis, managing director, Running Events Limited.

Powell is a sprinter who specialises in the 100 metres and held the 100 metres world record between June 2005 and May 2008, with times of 9.77 and 9.74 seconds, and his personal best of 9.72 ranks fourth on the male all-time list.

As of September 1, 2016, Powell has broken the 10-second barrier more times — 97 times — more than anyone else in history, which has earned him recognition with the Guinness Book of Records.

It was Powell, even with his more decorated compatriot Usain Bolt, who cemented Jamaica's global dominance in sprints and in the minds of many Jamaicans today; it was he who really “put Jamaica on the map” with regards to sprinting.

Far from content to sit on his impressive laurels, Powell recently launched his athletic product line starting with The Active Fit band, which allows people to monitor and track their health as part of their fitness routine.

And the mechanically inclined Powell enjoys going fast — legally, of course — on four wheels as well. While auto mechanics' loss has been athletics' gain, Asafa Powell is not shy in expressing his love for fine automobiles, with an enviable mix of well-preserved classics and newer models.

While he has shown a particular affinity to the iconic “Tri-Star” of Mercedes, his picks include American, British and Japanese makes as well. Powell has collected a few motorcycles as well.

Whether setting sub-10s on the track or tooling around the city streets in his cars, Asafa Powell is clearly a bona fide sports icon and an inspiration to Jamaicans, and to many more around the world.

It is for this, among other reasons, that he is being recognised by the organisers of the 6th annual CB Group-UWI 5K.

The fund-raiser, which attracted over 4,500 participants last year in the run, walk, wheelchair and the smart eggs kids K event for primary school students, will again be under the professional direction of Alfred “Frano” Francis and his team from Running Events Limited. The event to date has raised $70 million.

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