JAMAICAN sprint sensation and former 100-metre world-record holder Asafa Powell will race in this year's Stawell Gift.
Powell will be the fastest man ever to race at the gift and is red-hot favourite to claim the $40,000 purse.
Stawell Gift organisers have been chasing the 30-year-old's signature for a number of years and have finally got their man, with Powell excited to test himself on the grass track.
"I've been ready to come down a couple of times over the past few years but I'm happy to say that this year will be the year," Powell said.
Powell, who held the 100-metre world record between June 2005 and May 2008 with times of 9.77 and 9.74 seconds respectively, will be the first world-record holder in 62 years to compete.
American Barney Ewell and Panama's Lloyd LaBeach competed in the gift in consecutive years in the early 1950s.
The duo jointly held the then hand-timed world mark at 10.2 seconds back in 1948.
Highlights of Powell's illustrious career include the 4 x 100-metre Olympic gold medal at Beijing in 2008 and gold in the 100-metre sprint at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Stawell Gift promoter David Culbert said he was delighted to get Powell on board, with injury and timing issues preventing him from racing at the gift in previous years.
"He has always wanted to add Stawell to his competition bucket-list," he said. "We've come close a few times but we're rapt that he's coming this year."
Stawell Athletic Club president Scotney Hayter described the prospect of Powell lining up against two-time winner Josh Ross at Central Park as 'mouth-watering'.
The 132nd Australia Post Stawell Gift carnival will be staged during the Easter long weekend from March 29 to April 1.