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July 5, 2008

Olympics — Track and Field: Tyson Gay Injured; Out of 200m!

   Tyson Gay tumbled to the ground at the start of his 200-meter quarterfinal heat at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials Saturday and had to be carted off the track – this eliminates him for the 200m.  He qualified for the 100m last week so he will compete in that event at the Olympics.

Running in the seventh lane, Gay was speeding to the lead in the first turn, but on his 14th stride, something went wrong. He went airborne, fell, then laid on the ground in pain, grabbing his left thigh and grimacing.

Gay already had qualified for the Olympics in the 100 meters, but his availability for the games now will be determined by the severity of his injury.

Though he’s the defending world champion in the 200, trials rules call for the top three finishers to make the Olympic team — no exceptions.

This was a stunning setback for the 25-year-old sprinter, who last week set the American record in the 100 at 9.77 seconds. In finals, he ran it in 9.68, the fastest time ever recorded, but not a world record because the tailwind was too strong.

Damein White, running in the lane next to Gay, said he saw Gay pull up and thought he saw something fly his way.

“I tried to keep going off the curve,” White said. “It kind of threw me off. He just pulled something. He’ll be right back. Next year, we’ve got worlds. You’ll see him there.”

More urgently, however, are the Olympics. Qualifying for the 100-meter dash starts Aug. 15, and Gay was one of the favorites along with world-record holder Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell, both of Jamaica.

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July 2, 2008

Olympics: Track and Field – Jamaica vs. America

Jamaica is the 138th most populous nation in the world. At 2.65 million people, the Caribbean island nestles between Kuwait and Mongolia in the population ladder.

It is in similar territory when it comes to national wealth.

The United States, on the other hand, is the world’s richest and third most populous country.

As neighbors go, these two live at very different ends of a very long street.

But there is one place where these two meet as equals – the running track.

Last weekend witnessed the most recent chapter in their rivalry as both countries staged Olympic trials for the 100m in Beijing this summer. The results, as they have been all season, were remarkable.

First, Tyson Gay, the latest sprint star off the US assembly line, almost made the most embarrassing mistake of his hitherto impeccable career by misjudging the finish of his opening heat. (Go to 2.29 for the race).

Thousands of miles to the south, world record-holder Usain “Lightening” Bolt and Asafa “King” Powell, the man Bolt ‘unseated’, were advancing smoothly to their much-anticipated clash in the Jamaican capital, Kingston.

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