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Gay forecasts fast time in New York showdown with Bolt

17 May 2008

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

American sprinter Tyson Gay predicts a pulsating duel when he vies with Jamaica's Usain Bolt for the first time over 100 metres at the New York Grand Prix on May 31.

Double world sprint champion Gay ran a wind-assisted 9.76 seconds in New York last year while Bolt clocked the same time at the recent Jamaica International Invitational.

"It's going to be a great showdown in New York," Gay told reporters at the Home Depot Center on Thursday while preparing for Sunday's Adidas Track Classic.

"I think it's going to be an extremely fast time, especially if the wind is in our favour. He's going to have a lot of fans cheering for him and I think it's going to be more exciting than last year."

Gay, 25, was also in Jamaica when Bolt stunned the athletics world by recording the second-fastest time ever.

"I didn't really get to watch the race live but I saw it later on the computer," said Gay, who ran his first 200 of the year in Jamaica, claiming victory in a season-leading 20.00 seconds.

"He looked good and it's certainly a fast time."

While sprint fans already relish the developing rivalry between Gay and world-record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica, 200 specialist Bolt could make it a three-way battle.

"At the moment, it's a little bit minor between me and Usain Bolt, not as major as myself and Asafa because Asafa has a title, a world record," Gay said.

"Usain Bolt has a fast time but Usain Bolt is a people person. A lot of people love him. His home town loves him and people across the world love him. He's humble guy, he's a giant, he's funny and he's young."

Asked whether Bolt's remarkable run in Jamaica might be a flash-in-the-pan, Gay replied: "I hope not.

"When I ran my first 9.8 seconds, I didn't believe it. I ran it, I felt comfortable, I felt relaxed but I thought: 'Ah shoot, here we go, maybe something happened with the clock but I have to do it again.'

"I ran 9.97 in my next race and I was like: 'It's possible.' And when I ran 9.8 again, that's when I knew that it was legit. I'm the type of person who believes you have to do it again."



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