Gay: "I expect a WR"

Gay lays down the gauntlet
Tyson Gay

Times Online and Agencies
American sprinter Tyson Gay predicts a new world record will need to be set to land the 100 metres gold medal in Osaka.

The highly anticipated battle between Gay, the fastest man this year with a time of 9.84 seconds, and Jamaica’s Asafa Powell, the joint world record-holder at 9.77seconds, will take place on Sunday at the Nagai Stadium.

Rising Bahamian sprinter Derrick Atkins joined the sub-10 club in the spring and has since improved to 9.95secs, while leading Great Britain’s Marlon Devonish produced a personal best 10.06secs to finish second behind Gay in Sheffield in July an hour after running the 200m.

The 31-year-old Devonish then ran 10.26secs at the Norwich Union Grand Prix which saw him finish third behind the impressive Gay, but the bar is set to be raised further this weekend with the heats beginning on Saturday.

“I expect the world record to be broken at this Championships,” said Gay.

"The World Championships mean a lot to me and the preparations have gone well. Things are a little different from 2005. I got too over-excited, but now I am more calm and professional preparing for a race.

"I believe it will take 9.80 or faster to win the 100, I have ran 9.84 this year so with the right wind I believe I can go 9.80 or faster.

“I feel good, everybody has been waiting for this and I have also been waiting for it. We (he and Powell) both wanted to make sure we were both injury-free before the opportunity came to race against each other. He had been undefeated for over a year now and I have been undefeated this year.”

Gay began his career as a mainly 200m runner, but will be chasing a sprint double in Osaka while also looking to guide the USA 4x100 metre relay team to glory.

He won the sprint double at the USA Track and Field Championships in Indianapolis in June with world leading times of 9.84 and 19.62secs, while threatening the world record with a wind assisted 9.76 in New York.

“I am enjoying it and believing now,” he said. "When I was considered just a 200 metre runner I used to get offended because I was running 10.0 in college and people were still seeing me a 200 metre runner.

"But now I am really focused on working on my starts this year and the outcome has changed and I am more of a 100 metre runner.

“The 200 has been in the shadows this year but it is still my favourite event, but at the same time I am still trying to balance both of them.”

Gay also admitting he understood why his performances had come under scrutiny over possible doping offences, but insisted his improvement in the 100 metres was down to simple hard work.

He has recently been working with American 2004 Olympic sprint relay gold medalist Jon Drummond to improve his starts with Lance Brauman, his current coach, in prison for embezzlement. Brauman is expected to be released in four days but will not be making the trip to Osaka.

“I can understand that some people connect my progress with doping because past Olympic champions and past world champions have been busted for drugs,” Gay said. "I was considered a 200 metre runner and I was not focused on the 100 but now I am working with Jon Drummond who has a fantastic start and he has been giving me tips on how to start better.

“The coaching situation has matured me a lot, I have had to learn how to train in the absence of my coach and I think that has helped me become a better man. I spoke to him on Wednesday and he asked me how I feel and how the relay team is coming around.”

Announced surprises tend to turn disapointments.

I will never understand how people talk of predicted times, “fast tracks”, etc. You can run on the floor of an enchanted forest (or the magic carpet :slight_smile: ) if but if you have crappy weather and/or a -2.0m/s wind, you’re still screwed.

Totally agree. I think both these guys need to worry about a major medal here. WR can b run at any meet, World gold opportunities come about every 2 years!

THe stadium isn’t going to permit massive winds for or against, the good weather is pretty much guaranteed and the track is obviously fast…

I wouldn’t say he’s making any major predictions. He did say itfthe right conditions…I think the man simply recoqnizes and respects the capabilities of the top guys in attendence aswell as the quality of the surface.

A friend of mine is competing in the hurdles and finds the surface extremely hard and fast and as a result has been feeling a little worn out after some of the practce sessions. A few other athletes have had the same experience.

Should be a great meet. :slight_smile:

You might get worn out by the meet but the practice sessions are in your own control.

Anyone notice Anson ran a season best to make the semi finals

Yes, ran well but has had an achilles problem I hear. hopefully he’s ok.

That’s what I thought when I saw opix of the stadium in Osaka, which is why I posted them for general view.