Tuesday 20 March 2018

Athletics: Gay sends out speed warning to Bolt

Tyson Gay's speedy dash in Manchester city centre earned him the 200m world record on a straight track yesterday, with Ireland's Paul Hession in third spot.

The display also suggested that the American can fulfil his prediction that he can end Usain Bolt's domination of global sprinting, now he is fully fit after a groin operation.

Where and when the pair will first go head to head this year is still undecided, but Gay, after roaring home in 19.41 seconds in Manchester, is clearly in great early season form.

The time surprised even Gay who beforehand admitted he was nervous after being tipped to better the previous mark of 19.5secs which his fellow American, the legendary Tommie Smith, achieved on a cinder track 44 years ago.

Smith's time, even by today's world standards, remains strong and Gay went into the race short on speedwork.

But on a cool night and facing a slight headwind, everything went perfectly for the 27-year-old Kentucky speedster, when after a blistering start he continued the momentum to score a runaway win from Kim Collins, with Hession third in 20.66.

The Athenry sprinter was also third in the 100m behind Mark Lewis-Francis in 10.57.

Colin Griffin of Leitrim was 21st in the 50km at the IAAF Race Walking World Cup in Mexico.

Meanwhile, Castleisland was yesterday host to the Woodie's DIY AAI Games and Team Championships, where the sprinters provided the most notable performances.

The country's top female sprinters battled it out in the 200m where long jump specialist Kelly Proper took the honours in a time of 23.2 ahead of Ferrybank AC team-mate Niamh Whelan. Claire Brady (Celbridge AC) was third in 23.5.

The Ferrybank clubmates battled it out once again in the 100m where the positions were reversed and Whelan took the honours in an very exciting finish. Both athletes registered the same time of 11.79.

David McCarthy produced an impressive double in the 400m and 800m. The Le Cheile AC athlete ran an impressive 1.52.03 in the 800m and returned to the track shortly after to win the 400m in 48.26.

Irish Independent

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