Tyson Gay advances to 200-meter semifinals at nationals

Associated PressJune 22, 2013 

DES MOINES, Iowa — Tyson Gay tossed and turned all night, replaying his electric win in the 100 meters.

Now, it's completely out of his mind and he's ready to start all over again.

Gay, a former Lafayette High School standout, showed no signs of fatigue as he comfortably advanced out of his opening heat of the 200 on Saturday at the U.S. track championships. He was in control the whole way as he won his heat in 20.14 seconds, the third-fastest overall time on a hot afternoon.

His surgically repaired hip was feeling good, too. Sure, it was a little sore after holding off Justin Gatlin for the 100 title the night before, but not enough to keep him out of the 200 competition.

"I'm healthy, that's the key," Gay said. "I'm not trying to be Superman, if my body is really fatigued. ... When you're injury-free, it makes a world of difference."

Gatlin skipped the 200 because of a tweaked right hamstring, an injury he hid throughout the 100 rounds. Gatlin said in a text that running "9.8 on a bum (hamstring) twice is my limit of luck."

Isiah Young had the fastest time in the first round of the 200, finishing in 20.09. Wallace Spearmon, one of the 200 favorites, also advanced.

In the opening round of the women's race, Olympic champion Allyson Felix definitely was hard to miss in her bright pink calf sleeves. She stood out for her performance, too, taking almost a leisurely stroll as she finished in 22.44.

"It was good," said Felix, who sat out of the 100 to concentrate on her signature event, the 200. "Just wanted to get out there, control the race."

Felix's training partner Jeneba Tarmoh had the fastest time — 22.23 — and that's after all the rounds of the 100, too.

"I definitely feel sore. But it's a mind over matter situation," said Tarmoh, who finished fourth in the 100. "A lot of times your body feels weak and tired before your mind does. I'm telling myself, 'Jeneba, you can do this. Keep on pressing.'"

Brianna Rollins set an American record in the 100-meter hurdles at the U.S. track championships on a sweltering Saturday, one of several big performances by less-than-familiar names.

Rollins, a standout at Clemson before turning pro this month, finished in 12.26 seconds to break the mark of Gail Devers in 2000.

Not to be outdone, 17-year-old Mary Cain finished second in the 1,500 meters to earn a spot at the world championships in Moscow in August. She was edged at the line by training partner Treniere Moser.

Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross was slowed by a surgically repaired right big toe and didn't qualify for worlds.

There were plenty of big names that shined as LaShawn Merritt captured the 400 crown, and Olympic champion Ashton Eaton took the decathlon title.

Michelle Carter set an American record in the shot put with a throw of 66 feet, 5 inches on her way to the title.

Kentucky competitors

Keith Hayes continued his breakout season for the University of Kentucky by advancing to the 110-meter hurdles semifinal on Sunday.

Rebecca Famurewa won the junior championship silver medal in the discus throw with a top mark 52.39. The rising sophomore's finish earned her a spot on the 2013 U.S. team that will compete at the 2013 Pan Am Junior Games.

UK alumus Mikel Thomas won the Trinidad and Tobago 110m hurdles. Thomas, a two-time Olympian, was the UK record holder before Hayes.

Running into a wall — literally

Tyson Gay ran a bit scared in the 100 meters on Friday night at U.S. championships.

Not from the competition, but what awaited him at the end of the track — a cushioned mat to keep him from running into a wall.

USA Track and Field figured it had found a wind-win situation for the strong breezes inside Drake Stadium— change the direction for all sprint events starting Friday.

But the decision met with some mixed reviews. Some runners didn't mind the fact that instead of bursting from the blocks in the north end of the stadium and finishing in the south, it was reversed. Some were a little confused.

Gay breezed down the line in 9.75 second to win the 100 over Justin Gatlin and then had to abruptly start tapping the brakes. The protective mat was about 26 yards or so from the finish line.

"It was just the whole mat thing in your mind," Gay said. "Indoors, you run into a mat. You're running a lot faster outdoors, running into a mat. It was a little bit scary."

The times were definitely faster on Friday, though.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service