Christophe Lemaitre, 2010 French Champs, photo by PhotoRun.net
Tyson Gay and Christophe Lemaitre highlight what will be a tremendous 100 meters. How do you not note Justin Gatlin? This could be, should be and will be one of the last great matches before the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Tyson Gay, 2012 US Trials, photo by PhotoRun.net
As you know, Tyson Gay is one cool character. Gay is fit, has run 9.86 and is ready to roll. Christophe Lemaitre is the pride of France, and with his thoughtful coaching, is developing quite nicely, knowing that he is years away from his top form. Christophe has run 9.94 this season and won the Euro Champs last week! And remember, Justin Gatlin has just run 9.80, so this could be a barn burner.
Justin Gatlin, 2012 US Trials, photo by PhotoRun.net
Justin Gatlin was nothing if not thoughtful about Tyson Gay in the press conference. Gatlin has been a sprint warrior for a long time, and knows that, one does not observe his competition. The race should be one of the highlights of the meet!
Looking forward to Friday, 6 July, from 5.30 PM local time to 11 pm Local time. Runblogrun will be live, do not miss it!
Gay / Lemaitre, the weighing of words before the shock of the track
They'll be together again on Friday evening, at the foot of a straight line, at the start of a 100m, which promises to be one of the most exciting moments of the MEETING AREVA 2012. However, before challenging each other on the Stade de France track, Tyson Gay and Christophe Lemaitre shared the spotlight at a press conference, yesterday afternoon, in the Parisian offices of Areva, title partner to the French leg of the Diamond League. It was a restrained face-to-face, though one which was brimming with lessons and always pertinent, like these two champions. The American and the Frenchman weren't saying a lot. However, they know all about eloquence. Extracts.
On their current fitness
Tyson Gay: "I feel a bit jet-lagged today but a training session on Thursday should get me right up to speed again. I feel good at the moment. I ran a bit short to take the win at the American trials, especially against Justin Gatlin, who's done a massive amount of work this season, especially as regards his starting phase. However my 2nd place (9''86) is the best result I could achieve that day."
Christophe Lemaitre: "Despite the repeated races during the European championships in Helsinki, I don't feel tired. I find it a bit difficult to leave home again so soon after arriving back there, but I did two good training sessions on Tuesday in Aix-les-Bains, focusing on the start and speed. I rediscovered some fluid body movements. I'm fit. I feel good. I hope to be able to transcribe all that onto the track in Friday's race so I can run a good time."
About their objectives at the MEETING AREVA
Tyson Gay: "I really want to put the onus on my starting phase. It's my first participation in this meeting. I know that the Stade de France is very big and there's going to be a big atmosphere. For me, this race is of great importance."
Christophe Lemaitre: "To my mind, the MEETING AREVA has always been a special competition. We're lucky to have a leg of the Diamond League in France, in front of a home crowd. I want to make the most of it to further progress with my times. I hope to be able to make the most of the 100m on Friday evening so as to continue forging ahead and further increase my peak of fitness."
About the results of the Olympic trials in Jamaica, where Yohan Blake beat Usain Bolt twice
Tyson Gay: "I found Usain to be a bit laboured. He gave the impression that he was forcing it, which is unlike him. However, these two races don't change things as regards the London Games. Yohan may give the impression today that he's a bit of a cut above the rest, but the top players will be very close in terms of performance when it comes to the Games. Usain still has a month to get back into shape. He's a major championships man."
Christophe Lemaitre: "This season, Usain was struggling at times, particularly at the Ostrava meeting. His defeat in the 100m against Blake only came as a bit of a surprise to me. However, I was very surprised to see him beaten over 200m. He's always said that it's his favourite distance. I didn't expect to see him lose that race too."
What they think about one another
Tyson Gay: "Christophe is a great competitor. I followed his performances last summer at the world championships. He impressed me. I've also watched some of his races on video. I think he performs very well in the transition after the starting phase. He's one of the best sprinters in the world."
Christophe Lemaitre: "We haven't yet come up against each other in competition, but Tyson is a runner with vast experience. The prospect of confronting him in the 100m in the Stade de France gives me even more impetus to run at the MEETING AREVA than in previous years. To be in the same race as him will be a high point."
The London Games
Tyson Gay: "I'm not thinking about it too much yet. My focus has mainly been on the American trials. It's a competition that I believed for a long time I wasn't capable of competing in, because in March I could barely run due to the intensity of the pain after my hip injury. I want to win a medal there."
Christophe Lemaitre: "I haven't yet chosen which distance I'm going to run in London. What I saw from the American and Jamaican trials gave my coach, Pierre Carraz and I, a more accurate idea of what decision to take. However, we've decided to wait a little longer before announcing it."