Jamaican sprinters feel sad for Gay
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Sunday | June 26, 2011
Empathy and disappointment were the general reactions inside the National Stadium here in Kingston on Friday night, as news of American Tyson Gay's withdrawal from the 100m at the US Trials made the rounds.
A reported hip injury forced the injury-plagued world leader (9.79 seconds) and former world champion to sit out the finals and sent him straight into rehab, with the London Olympics only 13 months away.
Gay will also miss the IAAF World Championships in Athletics, scheduled for Daegu, South Korea, August 27-September 4.
The news came as a disappointment for most Jamaican athletes and fans, who were all looking forward to a clash between the determined American and the Jamaican trio of Asafa Powell, Yohan Blake and Steve Mullings, who will join defending champion Usain Bolt in Daegu.
Powell, who recovered from a horrid start, which involved a clash of hands with Mullings in Friday's 100m finals at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association/Supreme Ventures Limited National Senior Championships to win in an unusual 10.08 ahead of Blake, 10.09, and Mullings, 10.10, was disappointed with the news.
"It's really unfortunate with Tyson (Gay), I really hope he can come back if he's healthy enough even to run a relay at the World Championships," said Powell, before speaking to what Gay's withdrawal meant for his own chances in Daegu.
"It's going to be a whole different ball game at the World Championships, but I'm just going to take it one step at a time," said the former world 100m world-record holder and record 65-time sub-10 sprinter.
Mullings, who trains with Gay in the US and was the last man to beat him on the circuit, after his triumph at the adidas Grand Prix, was visibly shaken by the reports and shared that the sprinter had been suffering for some time.
"I feel bad for him, I really feel bad, Tyson is like family to me. Knowing that he is hurt and the condition that he was in, I knew it was going to be a matter of time before he had to stop because he was hurt really badly," Mullings said.
"He just got to get through it, be strong and get strong for next year," he added.
Mullings, who had been complaining about cramps ahead of the 100m finals, says he remains confident going into Daegu, considering his performance on Friday night, despite being hampered by a troubled calf muscle.
"I'm very confident, especially knowing that I could make this Jamaican team even with a cramped calf. You can ask my agent, you can ask my coach, I didn't even know if I would run, but to come and do this here at the Jamaican trials has certainly boosted my confidence even more going into the World Championships."
Gay's withdrawal was announced before the running of the semi-finals at the US Trials in Eugene, Oregon, where his agent revealed that he has been bothered by a hip and abductor problem for the last three months.
Gay could still be named to the USA's 4x100m relay team for the World Championships, as a discretionary selection.