Tyson Gay

Tyson Gay

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Tyson Gay
Height 5-11
Weight 165 lb
Nationality American
Born Aug 9, 1982 at Lexington, Kentucky, United States
College Arkansas

Tyson Gay (1982-) is an American sprinter who won gold medals at the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4 x 100 metres relay at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics in Osaka, Japan. He is the third fastest athlete in the history of the 100 and 200 metre races, with times of 9.77 and 19.62 seconds respectively. One of his most notable races was when he ran a wind-aided 9.68s (+4.1m/s) in the U.S Olympic Trial 100 finals which is the fastest time any human being has run under any conditions.


Early life

Gay was a sprint athlete who won several state titles while attending Lafayette Senior High School in Lexington, Kentucky.

He competed collegiately at Barton Community College and the University of Arkansas and in 2004 he won the 100 m event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships as well as achieving a time of 10.06 s in June. The summer before he started at Arkansas, an assistant coach provided him with assistance in taking a college algebra course, which he needed to be eligible to transfer to Arkansas. This assistance violated NCAA recruiting rules, and the NCAA placed the track program on a three year probation as well as revoking two national championships.

Professional career


In 2005, Gay concentrated more on the 200 m event, setting a personal best time of 19.93 s in June. This result placed him second on the world statistic lists, behind college teammate and training partner Wallace Spearmon. Gay competed in the 200 m at the 2005 World Championships in Athletics and finished fourth to complete an American 1-2-3-4 sweep, the first time any nation has achieved this in a World Championship athletics event. Gay's aim of becoming the fastest third leg runner in the world for the 4 x 100 m relay was unfulfilled after a poor baton exchange between Mardy Scales and Leonard Scott. This resulted in the United States being disqualified from the event. Gay went on to run the 200 m in the Norwich Union Athletics Grand Prix in Sheffield, England and came second. He was beaten by the 100 m and 200 m 2005 World Champion, Justin Gatlin. Gatlin won in a time of 20.04 s with Gay finished 0.05 s behind. Gay ended the season with a 200 m race at the World Athletics final, recording a time of 19.96 s. The headwind was recorded at 1.5 m/s.


In 2006, Gay steadily improved his performances. On July 11, he ran a time of 19.70 s, at the IAAF Grand Prix in Lausanne, Switzerland, finishing second behind Xavier Carter. On July 21 in Rethymno, Greece, he completed the 100 m race in a time of 9.88 s. Gay improved yet again on his personal best on August 18 in Zurich, Switzerland. There he ran a time of 9.84 s upon finishing second place to Jamaica's Asafa Powell. In the same race, Powell equaled his World Record of 9.77 s for the third time.

Gay improved his 200 m time on September 10 in Stuttgart, Germany, when he reached the finish line in 19.68 s. Tying with Frank Fredericks's time. In the same race, he ran the unofficial fastest time for the first half of the 200 m, reaching the 100 m mark in 9.96 s. Michael Johnson held the previous fastest time of 10.12 s during his 19.32 s World-Record-setting run at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. By the end of 2006, Gay was ranked second in the world at both 100 m and 200 m by the IAAF, and was fourth on the all-time lists for both events.


Gay started his 2007 season with two impressive wind-aided performances in the 100 m, achieving a time of 9.79 s at the Adidas Track Classic in Carson, California, United States on May 20, and 9.76 s at the Reebok Grand Prix on June 2. With the absence and suspension of Justin Gatlin for doping offenses, Gay was considered to be the main challenger to Powell in the 100 m event in 2007.

On June 22, 2007, at the AT&T USA Track and Field Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana, Gay won the 100 m with a time of 9.84 s, which was at the time the second fastest performance ever into headwind, after former World Record-holder Maurice Greene's time of 9.82 s.[1] He finished 0.23 s ahead of second-place contender Trindon Holliday. On June 24, two days after his 100 m victory, Gay won the 200 m race with a time of 19.62 s. At the time, this was the second fastest run ever in the history of the event. However since Usain Bolt's record-breaking 200 m run in the 2008 Olympics, Gay's time is now ranked third fastest.

On August 26, 2007 at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Osaka Japan, he defeated world record holder Powell with a time of 9.85 s, to become the new 100 m world champion.[2] Four days later, he ran a new championship record time of 19.76 s to win the 200 m event. Gay became the third sprint athlete in history, along with Maurice Greene and Gatlin, to win both the 100 m and 200 m at the World Championships.[3] Two days later, he won his third gold medal on the meet after an American victory in the 4 x 100 m relay event, achieving a time of 37.78 s.[4] Gay joined Marita Koch, Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson, Greene and Allyson Felix as the only athletes in history to win three gold medals at a single World Championships.

In part for his exploits at the 2007 World Championships, Gay was selected as the IAAF male World Athlete of the Year for 2007 and the 2007 Men's Athlete of the Year by Track and Field News.[5] He was also award the USATF's Harrison Dillard Award as the US's top male sprinter.[6]


On June 28 2008, in the 100 m quarterfinal at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, Gay finished in a time of 9.77 s. This was the American record, and also the 3rd fastest time in history for the event.[7]. In the 100 m final the following day, Gay finished first in a wind-aided 9.68 s(+4.1 m/s). This is the fastest ever 100 m time under any conditions, bettering the 9.69 s record which Obadele Thompson had set 12 years earlier. The current (legitimate) men's World Record is 9.69 s by Bolt in the 100 m final of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.[8]. Gay had failed to qualify for the final, instead finishing fifth in the second semi-final with an official time of 10.05 s. Speaking afterwards with reporters about his performance, Gay fully denied that he was hampered by his past injury and insisted that he had fully recovered. However even after Gay's denial of prior injury having a negative impact, media and fans continue to view his performance with some scrutiny, particularly because of the pain in his face after the race.

On August 21, the American men's 4 x 100 m relay team with Gay as anchor, failed to qualify for the final. The baton was never delivered to him at the last exchange of the heat, ending the USA's hopes of a medal in the event. Subsequently this was one of the greatest upsets in Beijing. By the end of the Olympics, Gay had failed to win a single medal.


As of September 9, 2008

Personal bests

Date Event Venue Time (seconds)
February 11, 2005 60 meters Fayetteville, Arkansas, United States 6.55
June 28, 2008 100 meters Eugene, Oregon, United States 9.77
June 24, 2007 200 meters Indianapolis, Indiana, United States 19.62
March 2, 2007 400 meters Fayetteville, Arkansas, United States 47.08
  • All information from IAAF Profile[9]

External links


  1. Gay runs 9.84 world season lead into the wind – US Champs. IAAF (June 23, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-06-23.
  2. Gay blazes to world 100m title win. CNN (August 26, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-08-26.
  3. Gay powers to Osaka sprint double. CNN (August 30, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-08-30.
  4. U.S. relay win secures Gay Treble. CNN (September 1, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-09-01.
  5. For Defar and Gay, near perfection in 2007. IAAF (November 26, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-11-27.
  6. Harrison Dillard Award, USATF.org
  7. Gay sets US record in 100 with 9.77
  8. Top List - 100m. IAAF. Retrieved on 2008-08-16.
  9. Gay, Tyson biography. IAAF.org. Retrieved on 2008-09-08.