Former 100 metre world record holder Asafa Powell was forced to pull out of the Athlone IT Grand Prix last night after suffering an injury to his groin during the warm-up for the event at the indoor arena of the Westmeath college.
Powell was meant to be one of the main high-profile competitors at the event, racing in the Men’s 60 metres.
The Jamaican sprinter’s expected appearance in Athlone had attracted some controversy with Powell only having returned to the track last summer.
He had been banned for testing positive for the drug oxilofrine in 2013, but had his 18-month suspension reduced to six months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last year.
Ireland’s Ciarán ó Lionáird disappointed in the mile won by Ben Blankenship in 3.56.75, which was the first indoors sub four-minute mile ever run in Ireland. USA’s Manteo Mitchell won the 400m in 47.18 with Ireland’s Brian Murphy third in 48.71.
A clearance of 2.41metres in the high jump by the world indoor champion Mutaz Barshim was one of the night’s highlights.