I know that the next meet up is the Oslo leg of the Diamond League and not New York, but the big news heading into the last two “big” meets before the Olympic Trials is that Tyson Gay will run before the Trials and he will do so this weekend in New York. Huge news when you consider that he is a) the American Record holder in the 100 meters; b) the second fastest man ever in the event; c) the last man to beat Usain Bolt in either the 100 or 200 meters.
So, knowing that he is ready to compete is big news – trust me I’ve gotten tons of emails and texts regarding this announcement. The standard question being what do I think? Well I think it’s good news, of course. We always want to have our best athletes available for the Olympics and Tyson is one of our best sprinters. Do I expect to see him at 100%, probably not – that’s a lot to expect from any athlete in their debut let alone one that had surgery last year and spent much of the off season rehabbing.
So those who look to gauge him by his best performances should expect no more from his debut than they did from Walter Dix, Yohan Blake or Usain Bolt – solid, but not their championship best.Which is why I’m glad to see him get at least one competition in before the Trials – to knock off the rust. He’ll be running in the “B” race, which seems to bother some people – as everyone wants to know why he isn’t taking on Yohan Blake. But then Bolt didn’t open up against Blake – as a matter of fact they haven’t competed against each other since 2010 – or any other headliner. So I’m not holding the “B” race against Tyson, because outside of Gatlin & Powell opening up against each other, all the other “top dogs” opened against moderate competition – and then Bolt’s follow up was his slowest ever final. My point is it’s early and his first race of the season so I’m not sure I want to read too much into it – unless of course it’s blazing. But given the circumstances the odds of that are not extremely high. Frankly I’m just glad to see he’s getting back on the track as originally word was he wasn’t going to run until Eugene!
It’s also good to see him debut at “home” as this will only enhance the meet for the fans – and I’m sure it will help with the television coverage! Final start lists are not up yet, but based on current seasons bests, and knowing that Tyson will be in the “B” race, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him line up against perhaps Gerald Phiri, Ramone McKenzie, Kemar Cole, and Ahmad Rashad – all sprinters capable of running in the10.0x/10.1x range – a nice “test” for a a sprinter who hasn’t competed since around this time last year. And with about three weeks to go to the Trials, it provides ample time to examine where he is and make necessary adjustments – which is what a lot of folk will be doing after the close of Oslo and New York.
So,that’s where I am on the Tyson Gay Debut. The rest of the week will be action packed – it should be a lot of fun.