Beijing Diary: August 16, 2008--Flash--Tyson Gay Does Not Make 100 Meter Final, by Larry Eder


In a stunning reversal of fortunes, Tyson Gay, the American record holder at 100 meters, the three time gold medalist from Osaka, finished fifth in his semi final this evening in Beijing, China. The story is below.....

Men's 100 meters, Semi Finals

Semi final One

Usain Bolt of Jamaica is showing the world why he is the world record holder. Getting a strong start and keeping his head down through thirty meters, Bolt came up and ran a relaxed and controlled 9.85 for the win. In fact, he really only took control in the last thirty meters, but his race was never in doubt. Walter Dix of the US also got out well, and cemented himself to Bolt, running a fine 9.95 for the second position. He looks to be a player in the final! In third place, Marc Burns of Trinidad ran 9.97, running well and staying together at the end of the race. Micheal Frater of Jamaica ran 10.01 for fourth, edging out 2003 World Champion Kim Collins and 2007 silver medalist Derrick Atkins of the Bahamas.

Semi Final Two

This was the race I was concerned about. A truly stacked semi final. Asafa Powell got out well and just ran through the whole race, in control and running 9.91. Richard Thompson of Trinidad continued to sparkle, running 9.93, his personal best, taking second. In third place, Martina Churandy of Netherland Antilles, ran 9.94 for a national record.

Tyson Gay had gotten out well, but he was working very hard midway, and while he did not slow down, he was digging very hard over the last twenty meters, doing all he could to make the final. In the end, Darvis Patton, who was running very well, ran 10.03 and leant better than Gay, taking fourth 10.03 to 10.05.

Tyson Gay, the three time gold medalist, had injured himself during the second round fo the 200 meters in Eugene, Oregon during the US Trials. While he has raced better each round, perhaps the time off recovering from the injury put him short of racing. The point is, in our sport, one is only as good as their last race and for Tyson Gay, this was not a good day at the office.

In the final for the 100 meters, scheduled in less than two hours, there will be three Jamaicans, two Trinidadians, two from the USA, and one from Netherland Antilles.

So my picks now: Usain Bolt, Walter Dix, Asafa Powell, Richard Thompson to spoil.

After the race, Tyson Gay said the following in the mixed zone, courtesy of USA Track & Field:

Quotes from Tyson Gay after he finished fifth in his semifinal and failed to advance to the final of the men's 100m.

Tyson Gay (Lexington, Ky.): "Toward the finish line I couldn't tell if I made it to the finals or not. I looked up there and realized I didn't. It was kind of devastating. I may have needed more races, but I don't really have any excuses. I just didn't make it. My hamstring feels good, it's not bothering me. I wasn't too overwhelmed with it being the Olympics. It just was one of those things that happened. Maybe I could have used some more training or more races. I kept trying to get my rhythm through each round. I thought I had a better start than I had the first two rounds. I pretty much ran hard through the finish line. I'm pretty upset. When I get back to the Village, it's really probably going to set in. My family is here, everyone at home is supporting me, and I just feel I let them down a little bit. But at the same time, I did my best and everyone knows I did. When you race in the Olympics and the Trials, you peak your body two times. I was prepared to peak my body twice, but the injury set me back three or four weeks. It's (the hamstring) healthy, 100 percent. It's obvious that my fitness is not there. My legs were behind me a little bit (back kick), I think my mechanics weren't where I wanted them to be. I think I just ran out of time. I was getting better and feeling more comfortable each round, it just didn't come together. Definitely I'm interested in running the relay.

On coming back from the injury: "Three weeks, four weeks off because of the injury after running 9.7, 9.6 ... it was just a back and forth battle, reversing the negativity in my mind. It was very difficult. At the same time, I felt good. I was comfortable and relaxed. I felt I got a good start. I couldn't really feel anybody and I got tight a little bit because I was trying to make it to the final and I really couldn't see anybody (running in lane 9). Then I relaxed a little.

On Dix and Patton in the final: "I think they can do very well. Walter is a young guy, very fearless, and Darvis is the same way. I'm proud of both of them. They both deserve it."

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