LONDON (Reuters) – Tyson Gay got a taste of the tough conditions the world’s best sprinters may face at the Olympics next month while winning the 100 meters in 10.03 seconds at the London Diamond League meeting on Friday.
The American’s planned showdown with former world record holder Asafa Powell failed to materialize when the Jamaican decided not to risk aggravating a groin injury.
With the rain lashing the track during the evening and the temperature plummeting to almost winter levels, it began to look a sensible move with the Olympic 100 meters heats only three weeks and a day away.
So Gay, whose 9.69 seconds personal best makes him the second-fastest man ever over the distance behind Usain Bolt had to content himself with beating a field still packed with American and Jamaican sub-10 second talent and gaining some more experience of racing in a London “summer”
In his heat Gay was sluggish out of the blocks and had to work hard to force his way into second place in a blanket finish, his 10.15 the same as heat winner Michael Frater of Jamaica.
It was a similar story in the final as Frater made the early running.
Gay was a little clumsy out of the blocks again but smoother into his pickup. He had to work hard on his concentration running in the shadow of giant compatriot Ryan Bailey, who will also run in the Olympic 100 along with U.S. trials winner and 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlan,
Gay, easy to spot in his bright orange vest, maintained his form well though and forced his way through to record a satisfying victory into a 1.3 meters headwind ahead of Bailey (10.09) and Jamaican Nesta Carter (10.13), who just edged Frater.