EUGENE, Ore. - If the sprinting world had any question about how prepared Tyson Gay is to repeat his gold-medal performances of the 2007 World Championships at the Olympic Games, he answered that question with a roar Sunday at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field.
With a 4.1 meters-per-second wind behind him, the world 100 and 200m champion ran the fastest 100 meters ever by a human being, 9.68, to win the men's 100m Olympic Trials title. Moments after Gay crossed the line, the flags at Hayward Field fell still, leaving observers to wonder what a slightly more tame, and legal, breeze would have resulted in.
No matter. Gay headlines an American 100 meter squad that will be looking for multiple medals in Beijing. 2007 NCAA champion Walter Dix was next across the line Sunday in 9.80, followed by 2003 World Outdoor 200m silver medalist Darvis Patton. Completing the field were collegiate record holder Travis Padgett (9.85), Rodney Martin (9.97), Leroy Dixon (9.99), Michael Rodgers (10.01) and Xavier Carter (10.11).
Prior to Sunday, the fastest time ever run had been 9.69 by Obadele Thompson in 1996, where a wind in excess of 5mps couldn't be accurately measured. Earlier Sunday, Gay had been somewhat leisurely in the first stage of his semifinal race but came on to win in 9.85 (+2.2mps), while Patton won the second semi in 10.04 (+0.5).
The top three finishers in each event at these Olympic Trials, who have met Olympic performance standards, will earn the ultimate prize of a spot on the Team USA roster for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.