Powell overwhelmed by Jamaica's response to his return
The champion made his fastest time in five years at the IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas last week.
Kingston (Jamaica), May 12 (IANS) Asafa Powell, who ran the season's fastest 100 metres in the world on Saturday, says he was overwhelmed by the response from supporters in Jamaica to his triumphant return.
More than 25,000 people broke into prolonged cheers as Powell sped across the finish line at the Jamaica International Invitational at the National Stadium, reports CMC.
The crowd went wild as the numbers 9.84 flashed on the in-field clock, signalling the return to form of the former world record holder.
"Just to run in front of this crowd is just great. I don't even care about the time. Being here and getting this reception from my people is just overwhelming," said an elated Powell.
"Just to come out here and give them their money's worth and just for them to show their appreciation, no regrets."
Powell, 32, silenced a strong field that included American Ryan Bailey who was booed for his 'throat-cutting' gesture toward Usain Bolt after anchoring the United States to victory in the 4x100m at the IAAF World Relays in The Bahamas last week.
The Jamaica sprinter was quick off the blocks and powered home the fastest in five years and the 84th time he has dipped below the 10-second barrier.
Saturday night's run was the first time he was competing on Jamaican soil since serving a six month ban for using an illegal substance.
"This is absolutely huge for everyone that supported Asafa, to see him come back to this level. We knew he was in good shape. He ran a real nice time in Guadeloupe on a dead track and into a headwind, so we knew something special could happen," said Paul Doyle, Powell's agent.
"You could hear from the crowd and you could almost feel his elation. With everything that he has been through, and we have all been through as a team, and for Jamaica to see one of their heroes go through what he had to go through, I think it lifted everybody."