PARIS — American sprinter Tyson Gay is the owner of the world’s two best 100 metres times this year. But world sprint king Usain Bolt, says he’s not worried about it.
“I never focus on one person,” Bolt said, quoted the Los Angeles Times. “It doesn’t make sense.” Gay — who is injury-free for the first time in several years — has posted times of 9.75 and 9.79. He now sets his sights on Bolt, who he’ll race in August’s world championships.
“I have no excuses. I have no pain,” Gay said. “I am over the mental part of being injured.”
Regardless, Bolt — who’s currently in Paris for tomorrow’s IAAF Diamond League meet — said he still planned to be the man to beat in the 100 metres for the foreseeable future.
“You want to dominate for the rest of your career,” Bolt said. “It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be challenging.”
The world championships will be held in Moscow starting Aug. 10.
Yesterday Gay threw down the gauntlet to Bolt in Lausanne by reinforcing his status as the current fastest man in the world.
After getting off to a powerful start at the Diamond League meeting, Gay finished the 100m in 9.79 seconds, ahead of Bolt’s Jamaican compatriot Asafa Powell and his American compatriot Michael Rodgers.
It was Gay’s second-fastest time this year, while Powell and Rodgers recorded season’s best times on a fast track with a tailwind just within the legal limit of two metres per second. Kim Collins, in fourth, beat his own St Kitts & Nevis national record with 9.97sec.
Gay, having shrugged off long-standing injury worries, said consistently recording fast times after so many years of frustration was key before a 100m at the world championships in Moscow that is shaping up to be an epic clash.
“It felt good. It’s all about consistency and staying healthy because that’s the key to success at this level,” said Gay.
“Sometimes you wish you could take advantage of the wind a little more but at the same time I felt good.”
Gay had already served notice to his long-time rival Bolt that he may not have it all his own way in his attempt to regain his world title in August by recording the fastest 100m sprint in the world this year, with a time of 9.75 at the US trials last month. Before this race he said he hoped this season to beat his personal best of 9.69. He set that time in 2009, the last season when he was completely injury free, and claimed to be feeling as confident as he did then.
The 30-year-old American, a world champion in 2007 and the second-fastest 100m runner of all time behind Bolt, had overcome Powell in five of their previous six encounters and again beat his Jamaican rival into second place. Powell finished second in 9.88 and Rodgers was third in 9.96.