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Tyson Gay

Tyson GayTyson GayTyson GayTyson GayTyson Gay

Tyson Gay, born August 9, 1982 in Lexington, Kentucky is an American track and field sprint athlete who competes in the 100 meter and 200 meter dash events. His 100 meter personal best of 9.69 seconds is the American record and makes him the second fastest ever. His 200 meter time of 19.58 makes him the fifth fastest athlete in that event. Gay has won numerous medals in major international competitions, including a gold medal sweep of the 100 meter, 200 meter and 4×100 meter relay at the 2007 Osaka World Championships. This made him the second man to win all three events at the same World Championship, after Maurice Greene. He is a three-time U.S. champion in the 100 meters.

At the 2008 Olympic Trials, Gay suffered a severe hamstring injury in the 200 meter event. The injury persisted and this contributed to his failure to win a single medal at the Beijing Olympics. As a participant in the US Anti-Doping Agency "Project Believe" program, Gay is regularly tested to ensure that his system is clean of performance-enhancing drugs. His performance of 9.71 seconds to win the 100 meter silver medal in the World Championships is the fastest non-winning time for the event. Tyson Gay, along with Asafa Powell and Yohan Blake, is one of the only three sprinters who have defeated Usain Bolt over 100 meters. Gay ran a wind assisted 9.68 at the 2008 US Olympic trials.

Tyson Gay is the only son of Daisy Gay and Greg Mitchell. Athletic prowess was part of the family life; Gay's grandmother ran for Eastern Kentucky University and his mother Daisy also competed in her youth, though she was pregnant with her first child by her early teens. Gay's older sister, Tiffany, was a keen sprinter and had a successful high school career. Tiffany and Tyson Gay, encouraged by their mother, raced at every opportunity, training hard at school and in the hills around their neighborhood. There was strong competition between the two, and Gay later said that his sister's quick reaction time inspired him to improve. Although Gay tended to be a slow starter on the track, he worked hard to improve and broke the Lafayette High School stadium record for the 200 meters. Under the tutelage of Ken Northington, a former 100 yard dash state champion, Gay began working on his technique and rhythm. By his senior year he was a more composed athlete and he focused on the 100 meters, winning the state championship in the event and setting a new championship record of 10.60 seconds.

In spite of this, his mother noted that he was not fully applying himself and was taking his abilities for granted. Gay was also not a very studious child and failed to achieve the grades needed to enter a Division I sports college. However, the Kentucky High School State Championships in June 2001 demonstrated his abilities: he won gold in the 100 meters, setting a new personal best and state record with 10.46 seconds, a record which stands to this day. In the 200 meters he took silver with another new personal best of 21.23 s. At a 2001 track event, Gay met trainer Lance Brauman and the college coach convinced him to attend Barton County Community College. It was here that Gay first met Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown, and the two formed a close bond, becoming training partners.

The move to the college in Great Bend, Kansas, marked further progression for Gay: in 2002 his 100 meters and 200 meter times dropped to 10.08 s and 20.21 s respectively, albeit with wind assistance. He improved upon his legal personal bests too, recording a 100 meter run of 10.27 seconds and 20.88 seconds in the 200 meters. He also continued to outstrip the competition, winning the 100 meters at a junior-college (JUCO) meeting. Returning to the JUCO event the following year, with the wind in his favour, Gay took bronze in the 100 meter with 10.01 seconds and silver in the 200 meters with 20.31 seconds. Injuries upset the rest of 2003 for Gay, and his coach Brauman moved on to work as the sprint coach at the University of Arkansas. Gay decided to follow his tutor and he was keen to join the university's highly successful amateur track and field program as Arkansas had dominated National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Indoor and Outdoor competitions for the previous ten years.

Gay chose to study sociology and marketing, and the university environment gave the 22-year-old sprinter his first opportunity to compete in NCAA events. Gay became Arkansas' first 100 meter NCAA champion, setting a school record of 10.06 seconds. Furthermore, his efforts in the event helped the Arkansas athletic team win the NCAA Championship. The results of Gay's first 2004 US Olympic Trials confirmed his status as a rising contender in the 100 meter and 200 meter events. Although he did not reach the final of either event, he reached the semis of the highly competitive 100 meter and posted a 200 meters personal best of 20.07 seconds in the qualifying stages. A hamstring injury due to dehydration prevented Gay from competing in the 200 meter final, but he did not see the trials as a missed opportunity, rather a springboard for future events:

"I was really focused upon the team, had a great shot, but it was a learning experience on how to take care of my body."

The end of year Track and Field News rankings for United States sprinters showed him to be the eighth fastest 100 meter runner and the fourth fastest sprinter over 200 meters that year. In Gay's final year as an amateur athlete he started well, setting a personal best and school record of 6.55 seconds in the 60 meters at the 2005 Championship Series. He helped the University team to another NCAA outdoor victory, setting a new personal best of 19.93 seconds in the 200 meter qualifiers and placing third in the finals. Training partner and friend Wallace Spearmon took first place with 19.91 seconds. His time and Gay's 19.93 seconds were the second and third-fastest 200 meter times in the world that year. The pair teamed up for the 4 x 100 meter relay, along with Michael Grant and Omar Brown, and won with an Arkansas record-breaking time of 38.49 seconds. With the NCAA Championships behind him, in June 2005 Gay decided to become a professional athlete, setting his sights on a place in the US 200 meter team for the Helsinki World Championships.

Gay holds the US record in the 100 meters with 9.69 seconds, making him the second fastest sprinter in the history of the event after Usain Bolt. His 19.58 second time makes him history's fifth fastest 200 meter runner. In 2010 Gay was a member of the fifth-fastest 4 x 100 meter relay team in history, running a 37.45 seconds with teammates Trell Kimmons, Wallace Spearmon and Michael Rodgers in Weltklasse Zürich 2010. His sprint combination of 100 meters and 200 meters in 9.84 seconds and 19.62 seconds, run over two days in 2007, was the best ever combo at that time. During the Tom Jones Memorial Classic in Gainesville on April 17, 2010 Tyson Gay clocked 44.89 in the 400 meter event and became the first man in history to dip under 10.00 in the 100 meter, under 20.00 in the 200 meter and under 45.00 in the 400 meters. Tyson Gay remains the only sprinter to have beaten Usain Bolt in a final since Bolt's world record runs at the 2008 Olympics.

Competition record

Year Tournament Venue Result Event Time (seconds)
2005 World Championships in Athletics Helsinki, Finland 4th 200 m 20.34
IAAF World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 1st 200 m 19.96
2006 IAAF World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 3rd 100 m 9.92
1st 200 m 19.68
IAAF World Cup Athens, Greece 1st 100 m 9.88
2007 World Championships in Athletics Osaka, Japan 1st 100 m 9.85
1st 200 m 19.76
1st 4x100 m relay 37.78
2008 Beijing Olympics Beijing, China 5th (semi-finals) 100 m 10.05
DSQ 4x100 m relay Disqualified
2009 World Championships in Athletics Berlin, Germany 2nd 100 m 9.71
IAAF World Athletics Final Thesaloniki, Greece 1st 100 m 9.88
2012 London Olympics London, England TBD 100 m TBD
TBD 4x100 m relay TBD

gold medal Gold Medal        gold medal Silver Medal      gold medal Bronze Medal

See more at: www.tysongay.net

source: www.wikipedia.org


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