Gay talks about winning Olympic gold, Bolt, Gatlin and why Gemili is "phenomenal"
Thursday, 12 July 2012
July 12 - Tyson Gay, the second fastest 100 metre runner ever, believes he can win the Olympic title in London – and still believes Usain Bolt is the man to beat even though he was beaten over 100 and 200m at the Jamaican trials by his younger training partner Yohan Blake.
"I think I can win in London, definitely," said Gay (pictured above) here on the eve of the two-day Samsung Diamond League meeting.
"I want to win the gold medal.
"At Beijing in 2008 I didn't make the final, so I can't even watch myself running.
"I just want to redeem myself in London."
But the 29-year-old American, who has a best of 9.69sec, bettered only by Bolt's 9.58, insisted the world record holder was the man he was most wary of.
"I think so," he said.
"That's just come from respect.
"He's been somewhere no one has been.
"He's been beaten before, but still he's been where no one has been before."
Asked about the trials, where Blake – who won the world title last year after Bolt (pictured below, centre) had been disqualified for false starting and who has the world's fastest 100m this year of 9.75 – earned his double victory, Gay responded: "Just because Bolt had a beating it doesn't mean nothing because he's still going to the Games.
"And that's all that matters."
Gay, who earned his place in the Olympic team this year after recovering from a hip injury which compromised last year for him, was more ambivalent about his team-mate Justin Gatlin (pictured below, left), the 2004 Olympic 100m champion who has earned a place at the London Olympics after returning from a four-year doping ban.
Gay, who has been active in anti-doping campaigns throughout his career, commented: "It is what it is.
"America has embraced him.
"I think you are really less forgiving with someone that does something in this country [Britain].
"He's back, he's running well, he's tough.
"He does have some dark cloud over his name because of that suspension but he's back now so, you know, it's just one of those things where it's like a double edged sword, because he'll be running the relay too.
"You are a little more ruthless in this country.
"Which is good.
"I don't have a problem.
"Because everyone has their own personal feelings about the situation.
"It is what it is."
Gay also said that Adam Gemili (pictured below), the 18-year-old Briton who won the world junior 100m title in Barcelona last night in a championship record of 10.05, could become "one of the greatest sprinters of all time", describing his performance as "phenomenal".
Gay joked about the young Londoner: "Maybe I can get some tips from him because of the great way he executed.
"He had a great drive phase, came up patient; he did a lot of things I'm working on which I don't know why it's so hard for me to get.
"He nailed it, man.
"And he has a lot more potential in the 200m.
"At 18, that's quite impressive.
"I think he's going to be around for a while.
"I think he's going to be one of the greatest sprinters of all time, watching that race.
"He done it at the big show and that's where it counts.
"You have to come out of the blocks, keep focused, react, keep your head down, all at one time in the big show.
"For him to be able to do that shows he has some talent.
"He has to keep what he's doing, keep listening to his coach, don't change nothing.
"Don't listen to all the hype.
"Just carry on with what you're doing.
"For this next four years I don't think people should look for him to break the world record but for him to maintain and get better.
"The time he ran is great for his age.
"If he goes 9.99 next year, then 9.92 and then the 9.8s in a steady progression, that's what he's capable of doing as long as he stays healthy."
Gay spent some time training with Gemili in Florida earlier this year and said he had indulged in a bit of friendly "trash talk" with the Briton, whom he nicknamed Drake – apparently due to his resemblance to the Canadian rapper.
"I think he's tough man, he just needs experience," added Gay, whose own 100m best as an 18-year-old, he said, was 10.46.
"As long as keeps humble, and keeps working hard, I think the sky's the limit for him.
"I don't think the Olympic 100m final is too much too soon because I think anything can happen.
"He's still rough.
"He's still new to all this so I don't think you should throw a lot at him.
"I think he's going to get a lot of attention, but as long as he understands and has a good team around him, I think he'll be a great athlete for the future."
July 2012: Gay beats US compatriot Gatlin in Paris as Greene sets new best
July 2012: Sprint stars Gay and Powell set for Diamond League showdown in London
June 2012: Tyson Gay returns to racing with victory at New York Grand Prix
June 2011: Injury denies Gay chance to take on Usain Bolt at World Championships
June 2011: Gay shocked as he loses to Mullings in New York