The Reuters global sports blog
World silver medallist Tyson Gay’s name should be popping up on more Diamond League announcements after a milestone weekend.
The American became the first sprinter with personal bests under 10 seconds in the 100, 20 seconds in the 200 and 45 seconds in the 400 when he clocked a lifetime best 44.89 seconds for the longer distance at a meeting in Gainesville, Florida, on Saturday.
The race was Gay’s first individual competition since successful groin surgery in October and erased any doubts about his fitness level.
The time took more than half a second off his previous best of 45.57 seconds. He has run 9.69 seconds at 100 metres and 19.58 for the 200.
Usain Bolt repeated his 100m record-breaking feats at the World Athletics Championsips in Berlin on Thursday, smashing the 200m time he set in Beijing 12 months ago to claim his second gold medal of the event.
The lightning quick Jamaican posted 19.19 seconds to take 11 hundredths of a second off the record, the exact same size bite he took out of the 100 on Sunday.
His feet are now worth millions but for one horrible, time-stopping moment back in 2005, Usain Bolt’s path to athletics immortality could have been very different.
Four years ago I covered the world championships for Reuters in Helsinki and was part of a group of journalists invited by sponsors to meet the then 18-year-old Bolt, an emerging but raw talent who had already had lofty expectations bestowed on him having become world 200 metres junior champion at 15.
Usain Bolt versus Tyson Gay is the sort of showdown that would grace any era of athletics and with a bit of luck the world championships in Berlin should give us two takes – in the 100 and 200 metres.
The match-up between the Jamaican and the American was supposed to be the highlight of the Beijing Olympics but it wasn’t meant to be. Bolt stole the show with three golds and three world records while Gay failed even to make the 100 final. Bolt was in such crowd-pleasing form that in truth you hardly noticed the other seven runners on the track.