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Gay to face Euro champ Obikwelu

31 July 2007

American Tyson Gay, the fastest 100/200-meter combination sprinter in history, is set to race the 100 meters at the Norwich Union London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on Friday, the same track where he recorded an impressive victory in 2006 by beating a stellar field to win the 200 and set a new stadium record in the process.

Gay ended last year ranked number one in the world in the 200 meters and second in the 100. The Kentucky athlete has continued his terrific form this year as well, underlining his position as the form runner in world sprinting. Earlier this month, Gay won the 100 meters at the Norwich Union British Grand Prix in Sheffield, clocking 10.13 seconds despite the rainy weather.

The 24-year-old will be hoping for a repeat of his winning ways in London, and he believes the Crystal Palace venue could be just the place to register yet another fast time with the IAAF World Championships just around the corner.

"It was a real shame that the conditions were so difficult for sprinting in Sheffield, but that is all part of the sport," Gay said. "You have to be able to win whatever the weather, and I was happy to do that against a strong field.

"I know I still have it in me to run very fast, and I will be aiming to do that at the Norwich Union London Grand Prix. I ran 19.84 for 200 meters on the Crystal Palace track last year, so I know how quick it can be."

Gay will face a strong lineup in London, including Olympic silver medalist Francis Obikwelu, the European champion. Local hopes will rest with British athletes Simeon Williamson and Craig Pickering, fresh from their gold and silver medal-winning performances at the European under-23 champs.

Gay added: "I look forward to facing the field in London, which often has the strongest sprint field of the year."

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