Reebok Grand Prix
May 30, 2009
Icahn Stadium - New York City, N.Y.
NEW YORK CITY - Tyson Gay announced to the world that he is back, running the third-fastest 200 meters of all time and annihilating a world-class field Saturday at the 2009 Reebok Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium.
If his performance did nothing else, it reminded observers that there is more than one name in the world of men's sprinting. And that in 2007, the top name in men's sprinting was Tyson Gay.
In his first race on American soil since his devastating injury in the 2008 Olympic Trials 200m, the 2007 World Outdoor 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay gold medalist was ready. When the gun went off, so did he. With a first 100 meters that rivaled world-record pace, Gay dominated the Western Union men's 200, blazing to the finish line in 19.58 seconds. Second place finisher Wallace Spearmon, Gay's former training partner, was four tenths of a second back in 19.98. Xavier Carter was third in 20.27.
The performance in his first 200m of the season surprised even Gay, whose 2009 training has thus far included only strength work, rather than purely sprinting work.
"It made me very, very happy," said Gay, who injured his hamstring at the Olympic Trials and wasn't fully fit at the Olympic Games. "19.5 had been one of the goals I had, but to do that in the first race is very pleasing. I wanted to work on my reaction and my start. Then I just ran. I ran for my life. When I came toward the finish line, I got kind of tight, and I wanted to bring it on in. I tried to push all the way through, just to see where my body is at."
Gay now holds the third and fourth fastest times ever over 200m: Saturday's race and the 19.62 he ran to win the 2007 USA Outdoor Championships. Only USA Track & Field Hall of Famer Michael Johnson (19.32) and triple 2008 Olympic champion Usain Bolt (19.30) have run faster.