16 Aug 2009

world 100 metre record holder gets a scare

9:19 am on 16 August 2009

The world 100 metres record holder Asafa Powell survived a scare on the opening day of the world athletics championships in Berlin.

Powell, who has a season's best of 9.88, eased up at halfway then had to accelerate at the end to scrape home third in his heat and avoid elimination by 200th of a second.

The Jamaican, who has earned an unwelcome reputation as a "championship choker" wore a nervous smile as he awaited the results on the stadium screen before the result spared his blushes.

But no problems for Usain Bolt and American Tyson Gay who safely negotiated their first heats.

World record holder Bolt barely broke sweat in the morning sunshine to cruise home in 10.20 seconds while Gay, the fastest man in the world this year, posted the best time of the morning with 10.16.