DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — So sore for so long, Tyson Gay is sometimes leery of digging deep and testing out that surgically repaired hip.
In a race between a fellow thirty-something, he really had no choice.
Down early against Justin Gatlin after a slow start, Gay had ground to make up. So, he cranked it up a level.
The hip responded just fine.
And with it any doubts about Gay’s health instantly vanished as he roared back to beat Gatlin to capture the 100 meters on last night at the U.S. Track and Field Championships.
Gay finished in a time of 9.75 seconds, the fastest in the world this season. Gatlin, wearing a support bandage on his tweaked right hamstring, wound up in second. Charles Silmon took third as he held off Michael Rodgers by two-thousandths of a second for the last spot on the team headed to Moscow for the world championships in August.
“That,” Gay said, his grin growing wider, “went good.”
Even better, he was walking around without a grimace of pain after each step following the race, something that hasn’t been the case in recent years.
He’s been dealing with nagging groin and hamstring issues, along with that troublesome hip.
Finally, the 30-year-old is healthy. Finally, he’s training without discomfort trailing him around the track.
“Tyson can be great if he’s healthy,” former Olympic champion Maurice Greene said.
In the women’s 100, Oregon star and NCAA champion English Gardner, who just recently turned pro, captured the title, breezing past the field even on a balky ankle. Octavious Freeman was second and Alexandria Anderson took third to earn spots to worlds.
“I really came out and performed well,” Gardner said. “It’s going to be a long haul, me and this ankle. It’s a very emotional battle.”