Gay says beating Bolt good for athletics
LONDON, United Kingdom — Tyson Gay insists finally getting one over sprint superstar and arch-rival Usain Bolt has provided athletics with a much-needed shot in the arm.
American sprinter Gay heads into the two-day Diamond League meeting here at Crystal Palace, which begins tomorrow, full of confidence following his victory over Jamaica’s Bolt in the 100 metres in Stockholm last week, his first-ever win against the world and Olympic champion.
Bolt may have been struggling with a back problem during that race — and he has since announced he will not be competing for the rest of 2010 — but Gay revealed his life had changed dramatically after last Friday’s exploits in the Swedish capital.
“The win really meant a lot to me — it was very important for myself, and also for the sport,” Gay told reporters here this morning.
“I know this may sound weird but I have received more attention for that victory than I did when I won (gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m) in the 2007 World Championships.
“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 added.
The American looks to have victory in the 100m sewn up in London on Friday following the withdrawal of Asafa Powell, the Jamaican who has run the world’s joint-fastest time in the sprint this year at 9.82 seconds
Powell said he had failed to recover from the ongoing back problems which forced him out of the Stockholm meeting last week.