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Powell withdraws from Stawell Gift meet with injury

Jamaican former 100m world record-holder Asafa Powell has withdrawn from Australia's Stawell Gift with a hamstring injury, race organisers said on Monday.

Powell was due to race in Monday's semi-finals but informed organisers he was experiencing tightness in his hamstring and would not line up in Australia's oldest and richest short-distance foot race.

Powell said he would have a scan of the injury in Melbourne on Tuesday.

The Jamaican sprint superstar developed soreness in the hamstring during the warm-up on Saturday although he chose to compete and finished third in his heat in 12.32 seconds off the scratch mark.

That time was good enough to qualify for the semi-finals, along with fastest qualifier and 2011 winner Mitchell Williams-Swain (12.08) and two-time Gift champion Josh Ross.

Powell was competing for the first time since damaging his groin in the 100m final at last year's London Olympics.

The 30-year-old, who held the 100m world record for almost three years from June 2005 to May 2008, has seen his status as the fastest man in the world eclipsed by his younger rival and close friend Usain Bolt.

The 120-metre Stawell Gift has been held annually since 1878 except for four years during the Second World War, and carries a Aus$40,000 ($41,600) first prize.

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