The Reuters global sports blog
When will the Diamond League have its first sprint showdown?
That’s a frequent question from athletics followers whose appetites have been whetted by the fast early times of Asafa Powell, Tyson Gay and Usain Bolt.
We know, according to a Diamond League announcement, all three are scheduled to run a 100 metres in the August 27 Brussels meeting, but you can bet your ever-shrinking euro that Bolt and Gay will race in the same stadium before then.
After all, more head-to-head clashes is one of the promises of the new 14-meeting circuit.
Also, Gay has told us he is scheduled to meet Bolt three times at 100 metres this season.
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.
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.
Jamaica’s Usain Bolt obliterated his own world record on Sunday as he won the men’s 100 metres final at the world athletics championships in an incredible, mind-boggling 9.58 seconds.
One year to the day from his world record breaking victory in the Olympic final in Beijing, Bolt blew away the field on the blue track in Berlin. American Tyson Gay ran 9.71 to take silver, and Asafa Powell was third after running 9.84.
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.
Usain Bolt is undoubtedly the man of the moment in the world of athletics but American Tyson Gay has the fastest times over the 100 and 200 metres this season and goes into next month’s world championships as defending champion over both distances.
Unfortunately it looks as if he will also be going to Berlin at best short of training and at worst still carrying a groin injury that he says will eventually need surgery.