Before Friday (22), we knew Tyson Gay was fast. Yesterday we learned he is VERY fast.
Running into a 0.5 m/s headwind, Gay won the 100 metres at the 2007 AT&T USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the fastest time in the history of the U.S. national championships - 9.84 - breaking the 9.90 meeting record of two former World record holders, Leroy Burrell and Maurice Greene.
Most fast 100s are run with a following wind. In fact, Greene’s 9.82 (-0.2) in Edmonton is the only other 100 run in 9.86 or faster into a headwind. Gay equalled his PB of 9.84 set in Zurich last 18 August, but he had a 1.0 tailwind then.
Gay finished more two metres ahead of runner-up Trindon Holliday’s second-place 10.07 - at 0.23 second the largest margin anyone could remember in a world-class 100 - with NCAA champion Walter Dix third in 10.09 and Mark Jelks fourth in 10.13. Dix has indicated he will not run in Osaka.
Gay’s start was good, and he was in contention from the beginning, with the quick-starting Holliday in front. But by 30m Gay was clearly moving fastest, and halfway through the race he took the lead and then opened his huge margin from 50m on.
“I think my start was really good,” Gay said. “It's the best my body has felt in a long time.”
Two days ago, Gay, who has been working on his start and the early part of his race with Jon Drummond, said, “Jon says he thinks I can break the rule that a sprinter can only accelerate for 60 metres. He believes I can accelerate for 70 metres.”
No-one who saw today’s race is likely to argue. Gay, incidentally, also had by far the fastest semi-final time, with a 9.97 into a 1.1 m/s headwind.
Edwards dominated women’s 100
In the women’s 100m, Torri Edwards was almost equally dominant, if not as relatively fast. After winning her semi-final in 11.06 (-0.7), in the final she pulled away over the final 50m to win from Lauryn Williams in 11.02 (-0.9) to Williams’ distant 11.16. Third in 11.17 was Carmelita Jeter, whose best last year (11.48) was not in the US’ top 50.
“I'm very excited to have won a national championship,” said Edwards, who earlier this season improved her personal best to 10.90. This means so much to me.”
Fourth was Allyson Felix, in 11.25 in a blanket finish with Mechelle Lewis (11.16) and Miki Barber, Stephanie Durst and Muna Lee all at 11.27. Since Williams, as defending champion, has an automatic place on the U.S. team for Osaka, Felix will probably get to run the 100 in Osaka.
With successful 5000m defence, One down for Lagat
At the other end of the distance scale, two hours after qualifying for Sunday’s 1500m final (in 3:39.40), Bernard Lagat won his second straight American 5000m championship, overtaking Matt Tegenkamp in the final 200 to win in 13:30.73 to Tegenkamp’s 13:31.31. The relatively gentle pace should help Lagat in his attempt to win the 1500, also for the second time in a row.
World leaders in 400m and 400m Hurdles semis – 50.02 for Richards, 48.02 for Tinsley
The semifinals in both 400m races were outstanding. LaShawn Merritt’s 44.44 and Angelo Taylor’s 44.64 won the men’s semis. World silver medallist Andrew Rock finished fifth behind Merritt, and out of the final.
In the women’s semis, Sanya Richards took over the world leadership with an authoritatively run 50.02, with DeeDee Trotter edging Natasha Hastings, 50.70 to 50.72.
In the men’s 400m Hurdles, Michael Tinsley’s 48.02 (PB) and Kerron Clement’s 48.08 took over the two top spots on the jahrlist with a 1-2 finish in their semi, with the other semi being won by perennial James Carter in an eased-up 48.81
Phillips prevails in windy Long Jump competition
The men’s Long Jump produced 14 jumps of 8 meters or better, 12 of them being wind-legal. The winner was Dwight Phillips, who won with a windy 8.36 (+2.3), and also had one of 8.30 (1.8). Miguel Pate, second; Trevell Quinley, third; and Walter Davis all jumped 8.24 – and all should be in Osaka since Phillips gets in as a defending champion. Brian Johnson was fifth at 8.11, and there were plenty of long, long fouls.
Walker triumphs in Pole Vault
In the men’s Pole Vault, Brad Walker, Jeff Hartwig and Jacob Pauli all cleared 5.70 in a venue famous for tricky, treacherously erratic winds. Left in their dust were Tim Mack and Toby Stevenson, 1-2 in Athens in 2004, and NCAA champion Tommy Skipper.
The best women’s field event results were in the Discus Throw, where current world leader Suzy Powell won with a modest last-round of 60.63 to overtake Becky Breisch’s 59.89.
James Dunaway for the IAAF