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Gay wins 100 meters in near-record fashion

30 June 2008

World champion Tyson Gay ran the fastest 100 meters of all-time to win the U.S. Olympic trials on Sunday, a wind-assisted 9.68 seconds.

The victory put Gay into his first U.S. Olympic team, but the wind speed of 4.1 meters per second deprived the 25-year-old of a world record.

Only marks set with assisting winds of 2.0 meters per second or less can be considered for record purposes.

"The time really meant a lot because that's the time that [co-coach Jon] Drummond has been instilling in my head for a long time, that I could run 9.6," Gay told reporters.

"I didn't really care what the wind was."

Gay showed little emotion at the end of the race.

"But inside I was happy," he said.

Jamaican Usain Bolt holds the world record of 9.72 seconds. The previous best time under any conditions was a wind-assisted 9.69 seconds by Obadele Thompson of Barbados in 1996.

Gay, who ran a national-record 9.77 seconds on Saturday, made a solid start and by 40 meters was in complete control of the race.

The double world champion will attempt to make the U.S. team in the 200 later this week, with the first round of the race on Friday.

Former collegiate champion Walter Dix finished second in 9.80 seconds, while Darvis Patton was third in 9.84 seconds. Both made the U.S. team.

Olympic long jump champion Dwight Phillips will not be in Beijing after finishing fourth with a wind-assisted leap of 8.20 meters.

Only the top three finishers make the team under the strict U.S. selection procedure.

Trevell Quinley won the long jump with his last attempt, improving his personal best by 14 centimeters to 8.36 meters.

Brian Johnson and Miguel Pate also finished ahead of Phillips.

World pole vault champion Brad Walker struggled but made the team with a third-place finish of 5.65 meters.

Two veterans led the way with 35-year-old Derek Miles winning at 5.80 and Jeff Hartwig, who will be 41 in September, placing second at 5.70.

Favorites prevailed in the men's 400-meter hurdles but the women's top choice, former world silver-medalist Lashinda Demus, was outrun off the last hurdle and missed out on a Beijing bid.

Bershawn Jackson, the 2005 world champion, won the men's race in 48.17 seconds with 2007 world winner Kerron Clement second in 48.36.

Third went to 2000 Olympic champion Angelo Taylor in 48.42. He returned 30 minutes later to run the opening round of the 400 but ran out of steam and stopped after 240 meters.

Tiffany Ross-Williams took the women's 400-meter hurdles in a quick 54.03 seconds. Queen Harrison placed second in 54.60 with Sheena Tosta third at 54.62.

The trials continue through July 6.

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