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American system keeps Gay out of Olympic 200m

12 July 2008
www.world-track.org

By Heather Morgan with additional reports by Gary Smith

The U.S. Olympic Committee leaders are backing the system used in recent years to choose the American team for major championships, thus ending any chance Tyson Gay of competing in the 200m in Beijing.

"It does come with challenges, such as what Tyson Gay experienced," said USOC chief of sport performance Steve Roush.

"That's one of the drawbacks, but I think ultimately, of the 600 athletes we'll take over, the win-or-go-home atmosphere prepares them for what they're going to be faced with at the Games."

Gay, the reigning world sprint double champion, suffered a hamstring injury during his 200m quarter-finals Saturday evening, which knock him out of the race at the Olympics.

USA Track and Field long standing policy at the Olympic trials states that the top three finishers in each event get spots on the team, regardless of who you are or what you have accomplished before.

However, it is sad to see an athlete such as Gay, who holds the leading role in American sprinting, left by the way side, but Roush said everyone must abide by the system

"The problem is, I have yet to find another system that would work better," Roush said. "When you start to add subjectivity, you fear that you run into politicization and favoritism.

"It's much cleaner to say, 'Cross the finish line, or touch the wall first or second, and you're going.' "

Gay will battle against the world's top elite athletes in his quest for gold in Beijing. His main rivals will be the Jamaican duo of Usain Bolt, who soundly beaten Gay in a world record race at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York on May 31, and Asafa Powell, the previous world record holder with 9.72-secs.

Bolt's world record time is 9.72-seconds. He will run both the 100m and 200m at the Olympics.

Gay ran an American record of 9.77-seconds at the U.S. trials



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"That's one of the drawbacks, but I think ultimately, of the 600 athletes we'll take over, the win-or-go-home atmosphere prepares them for what they're going to be faced with at the Games."
Gay, the reigning world sprint double champion, suffered a hamstring injury during his 200m quarter-finals Saturday evening, which knock him out of the race at the Olympics." target="digg"> Digg



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