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06 Jul 2008 07:24
World champion Tyson Gay’s dream of an Olympics double ended in pain when he crashed out of the US 200m quarterfinals on Saturday.
Already qualified for Beijing in the 100m, Gay had run only 12 strides, about 40m, of the 200m when he grabbed at his left hamstring and tumbled to track with a severe cramp.
He lay there for several minutes before he was taken away from the facility in a cart.
“Before I went out on the track I felt a little tightness in my hamstring so I had kind of a bad feeling,” Gay said in a statement.
“When I came off [the first part of] the curve the first two steps were fine, and then I felt it, sort of a pull, about 40m in,” he added. “Once I was on the ground it didn’t hurt as much as when it happened.”
He went immediately to his hotel room to begin treatment with ice and compression.
“I’ll just get it worked on for a few days,” said Gay, who apparently suffered no other damage.
The injury was a major blow to the US hopes in Beijing since under the strict qualifying procedure of the trials only the top three finishers make the Olympic team regardless of circumstances.
The stunning development was reminiscent of the 2000 US Olympic trials where both 200m world record holder Michael Johnson and then Maurice Greene crashed out of the 200m final with injuries.
Both missed the Sydney Games in the 200m, but won gold in their first-choice events.
Gay had won the 100m last Sunday in a wind-assisted time of 9,68 seconds, the fastest time ever run under any conditions.
He then cruised through the opening round of 200m on Friday with no problems.
Upon hearing the news of the injury, Jamaican 100m world record Usain Bolt wished Gay a speedy recovery.
“It was unfortunate that this happened,” Bolt was quoted by local manager Norman Peart as saying.
“I wish him a speedy recovery and I look forward to seeing him in Beijing,” Bolt added, according to Peart, who spoke to Reuters via telephone from Kingston.
Bolt won both the 100m and 200m at the Jamaican trials although the world 200m silver medallist said he would wait until August before deciding whether to run either the 200 or both sprints in Beijing. - Reuters
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