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American sprinter Gay pulls up lame in 200

6 July 2008

By Dave Ungrady

Tyson Gay will not be able to attempt a 100-200-meter double at the upcoming Beijing Olympics after he failed to finish his quarterfinal heat in the 200 meters Sunday at the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore.

Gay tumbled to the ground at the start of his heat and had to be carted off the track. Running in the seventh lane, Gay was speeding to the lead in the first turn but then went airborne, fell, and laid on the ground in pain.

"Before I went out on the track I felt a little tightness in my hamstring, so I had kind of a bad feeling," Gay said in a statement released by Global Sports & Marketing, his agency, through USA Track and Field. "When I came off the curve the first two steps were fine, and then I felt it, sort of a pull, about 40 meters in. Once I was on the ground, it didn't hurt as much as when it happened.

"It's just one of those things. I'll just get it worked on for a few days."

Gay received ice and compression treatment at his hotel Saturday and according to a statement released Sunday, he underwent an MRI exam at Slocum Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Eugene. The MRI showed a mild strain in the semitendinosus muscle located in the left side of the rear thigh.

He is expected to engage in "active rest" for 12-14 days, with light physical activity increasing through that period before resuming training. Tyson's only confirmed pre-Olympic competition is the 100 meters at the Aviva London Grand Prix on July 25, and the event is still on his schedule. Gay has already qualified for the Olympics in the 100 meters.

Injury also stopped 1996 Olympic gold medalist Allen Johnson in the 110-meter hurdles. Johnson, 37, was attempting to compete in his fourth Olympics, but he pulled up after the fourth hurdle in a qualifying heat.

"I knew that this was a possibility," said Johnson, who hurt a tendon in his left leg about six weeks ago. "I was hoping it wouldn't happen."

He had said he would retire after this year, but in the direct aftermath of the injury, he didn't rule out surgery and a comeback for 2009.

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