Star of the Month: Asafa takes the spotlight
Today we start our Star of the Month feature. Everyday, we will have stories and other insightful articles and features about our star. Also, look out for the promos and various ways to partake and interact with our featured personality. Sub-10 King Asafa Powell is this month's featured star.
Asafa Kehine Powell, born November 23, 1982 in Linstead, St Catherine is a sprinter who specialises in the 100 metres. Originally, Powell had his sights on being a mechanic while studying at Charlemont High School.
However, in 2000 after representing Charlemont at the Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships, though he didn't progress past the first round, his desire to run was firmly planted on the track. In 2001, he returned to the championship, and not only did his times get better, but he made it to the finals and was the favourite to win. He was spotted by coach Stephen Francis, who offered to train him, and there, the story of the Jamaican sprint legacy began.
In 2002, Powell represented Jamaica at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, UK. He made the semi-finals of the 100m finishing fifth in his race with a personal best of 10.26 seconds. At the same games, as part of the Jamaican 4x100m sprint relay team, he came home with the silver medal.
In 2003, he competed in his first World Championships but ended up being disqualified for a false start in the quarter-finals.
In 2004, he was close to making history when he went to the Athens Olympics as one of the favourites after running 9.91 seconds in the Jamaican National Championships. After qualifying for the final easily, he placed fifth with a time of 9.94 seconds. However, later that year, he set a new personal best of 9.87 in Brussels.
He went back to Athens, where so much had been expected of him the year before and set his first world record with a time of 9.77 seconds. Powell held the 100m world record between June 2005 and May 2008, with times of 9.77 and 9.74 seconds, respectively. He has consistently broken the 10-second barrier in competition, with his personal best of 9.72 seconds being the fifth-fastest time in the history of the event.
As of August 6, 2015, Powell has broken the 10-second barrier legally more than anyone else - 93 times - earning him the moniker, Sub-10 King.