EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Tyson Gay tumbled to the ground at the start
of his 200-meter quarterfinal heat at the U.S. Olympic track and
field trials Saturday and had to be carted off the track.
Running in the seventh lane, Gay was speeding to the lead in the
first turn, but on his 14th stride, something went wrong. He went
airborne, fell, then laid on the ground in pain, grabbing his left
thigh and grimacing.
Gay already had qualified for the Olympics in the 100 meters,
but his availability for the games now will be determined by the
severity of his injury.
Though he's the defending world champion in the 200, trials
rules call for the top three finishers to make the Olympic team -
This was a stunning setback for the 25-year-old sprinter, who
last week set the American record in the 100 at 9.77 seconds. In
finals, he ran it in 9.68, the fastest time ever recorded, but not
a world record because the tailwind was too strong.
Damein White, running in the lane next to Gay, said he saw Gay
pull up and thought he saw something fly his way.
"I tried to keep going off the curve," White said. "It kind
of threw me off. He just pulled something. He'll be right back.
Next year, we've got worlds. You'll see him there."
More urgently, however, are the Olympics. Qualifying for the
100-meter dash starts Aug. 15, and Gay was one of the favorites
along with world-record holder Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell, both of
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)