ROME — Tyson Gay gave notice to world record-holder Usain Bolt by running the fastest 100 meters of the year in 9.77 seconds at the Golden Gala on Friday.
Gay swept pass previous record-holder Asafa Powell 40 meters from the finish in a time that would have been good enough to equal the world record less than two years ago. Powell finished second in 9.88, and fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake was third with 9.96.
"I feel that I improved on the previous races," Gay said. "Today the race was better executed, and my shape is improving.
"I was working really hard for this, but I'm still training, and I feel good."
Gay is preparing to defend his 100 and 200 titles at the world championships in Berlin in mid-August. He was a favorite at the Beijing Olympics before a hamstring strain at the trials ended that hope. Bolt won both gold medals in world-record times.
Bolt didn't race in Rome, but he recorded an impressive 200 in the rain on Tuesday at Lausanne, Switzerland, clocking 19.59 seconds.
American Sanya Richards won her third Golden League meet in the 400, adding to victories in Berlin and Oslo. She conserved her energy on the final bend before accelerating to win in 49.46 seconds, breaking Marita Koch's record of 36 races under 50 seconds.