Gay confident after breakthrough win over Bolt

Tyson Gay heads into the Diamond League meeting at Crystal Palace on Friday insisting his breakthrough win over Usain Bolt in Stockholm last week was a breath of fresh air for athletics.

By (AP)

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Thu 12 Aug 2010, 7:54 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:03 AM

American sprinter Gay recorded his first-ever success over Bolt in the 100 meters when he clocked 9.84 seconds to easily beat the reigning world and Olympic champion in the Swedish capital last Friday.

Bolt’s lack of fitness has taken much of the gloss off Gay’s victory — the Jamaican runner subsequently ruled out returning to action in 2010 as bids to recover fully from a back injury — but Gay does not underestimate the important of finally defeating his chief rival.

Gay, the 100 and 200 world champion in 2007, said Thursday the Stockholm win has changed his life.

‘I know this may sound weird but I have received more attention for that victory than I did when I won the golds in 2007,’ Gay said.

‘That race, even though there weren’t any medals on the line, it really meant a lot to people and to the fans of the sport. I got to see other people happy. It was a good day for the sport.’

Gay has been left as the clear favorite for the 100 at the London Grand Prix, a two-day meet which begins on Friday, after Jamaican rival Asafa Powell joined Bolt on the sidelines.

The 27-year-old Powell said in a statement on Thursday that he had failed to recover from ongoing back trouble that caused him to withdraw from the race in Stockholm last week.

‘I visited the doctor yesterday and he has advised me not to run in order to help the recovery of my injury,’ Powell said.

Gay has been deprived of the chance to beat a second Jamaican rival in a week, but said he appreciated the reasons behind Powell’s decision.

‘I’m disappointed that he’s injured. I definitely understand he wouldn’t want to risk further injury by racing,’ Gay said. ‘Next year is a big year so it only makes sense for him to do what’s best for him.’

Other world-class performers competing at Crystal Palace include in-form American sprint hurdler David Oliver and 200 runner Allyson Felix, who will also compete in the 400.

Oliver has never been beaten when competing in Britain and is in good form, having lowered his national record to 12.89 when winning in Paris on July 16.

He will have a job getting anywhere near his personal best, never mind threatening Dayron Robles’ world record of 12.87, as no hurdler has broken 13 seconds in Britain, where conditions are not suited to sprinting.

‘There’s a reason for that,’ Oliver said. ‘There have been some great hurdlers that have run here but the conditions really dictate who is going to run what.

‘I can’t really worry about the times, just about getting the win.’

Felix leads the field for the women’s 200, while compatriot Jeremy Wariner will aim to extend his lead in the Diamond Race in the 400 by recording his fifth win in the series. Closest rival Jermaine Gonzales of Jamaica will be up against Wariner.

Bershawn Jackson of the US will race against another former world champion, Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic, in the 400 hurdles, with David Greene and Rhys Williams — who secured a British 1-2 at the European Championships in Barcelona — also present.

Britain’s Mo Farah, the new European 5,000m and 10,000m champion, takes on Bernard Lagat over 3,000m, the distance over which the Kenyan-born American runner won world indoor gold earlier this year.

More news from