Gay beats BoltTyson Gay (left) is congratulated Usain Bolt after his victory at the Diamond League meeting in Stockholm yesterday.
Sat, August 07, 2010 - 12:00 AM
STOCKHOLM – It turns out Usain Bolt can be beaten.
From Beijing to Berlin, it seemed that Bolt and his long, turbocharged strides were more than a match for anyone over 100 metres.
But Tyson Gay upset the reigning World and Olympic champion yesterday in a race between the two fastest runners in history.
Gay beat the Jamaican at the DN Galan meet in 9.84 seconds, competing at the same stadium where Bolt last lost a race two years ago.
The American seemed to be in complete control against the world record-holder. The pair raced side by side in lanes four and five and as Gay, looking comfortable, drew away, Bolt was straining to keep up and finished second in 9.97.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympic silver medallist Richard Thompson took third in 10.10.
“It feels great to beat Usain but deep down inside I know he is not 100 per cent. I look forward to beating him when he is 100 per cent.
“Usain knows what his limitations are. His goal this year was to go undefeated, not set world records. He has plenty left in the tank.”
Bolt has run faster this year, finishing in 9.82 a month ago in Lausanne, Switzerland.
A sellout crowd in the 1912 Olympic Stadium turned silent before the showdown. And the tension heightened even further after two false starts.
“I think it showed that I wasn’t in the best of shape,” Bolt said. “I’m not unbeatable. I can be beaten and it showed today.
“This is my easy season. If you don’t beat me this season it’s not going to happen next season because next year is a championship year.”
The sprinters both looked like they left plenty in reserve when they cruised through the heats, and so it was for Gay when it came to the final.
The race would have had even more star power had Asafa Powell of Jamaica not pulled out because of a back injury. That denied fans the chance to see the first race between the world’s three fastest men.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Bolt mesmerised all of track and field in winning the 100 and 200 – becoming the first man since Carl Lewis in 1984 to sweep both sprints at an Olympics. He then stormed to another World record of 9.58 last August at the World Championships in Berlin.
Powell, unable to race because of ongoing back problems, was the last man to beat Bolt over 100 metres, two years ago in the same Swedish city.
Since that defeat, the world record holder had enjoyed 14 successive wins, including the last time he clashed with Gay, at last summer’s World Championships in Berlin.
It was in that race that Bolt set the current 100 metres World record of 9.58s and was the last time he defeated Gay, one year after their first head-to-head in New York in 2008.
Powell, Gay and Bolt are scheduled to face each other at the final Diamond League meeting of the year in Brussels on August 27. (AP/BBC)
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