EUGENE, Ore. – The 200-meter rounds produced some good and some bad for Arkansas Razorback track and field on day seven of the U.S. Olympic Trials at Oregon’s Hayward Field on Saturday.
Running in heat one, lane seven of the 200-meter quarterfinals, the first round of the event on Saturday, Tyson Gay was barely 50 meters into the race when he appeared to cramp up and then fell to the track while grabbing his left leg.
Gay’s agent, Mark Wetmore, reported that Gay suffered a severe cramp in his left hamstring with no apparent damage beyond the cramp. Wetmore also reported that Gay felt some tightness in the hamstring while warming up.
Gay has already qualified for the Olympics in the 100 meters, but his availability for the Beijing Games will be determined by the severity of his injury.
There was good news for J-Mee Samuels and Wallace Spearmon in the quarterfinals. Spearmon easily advanced to the next round with a second-place finish in his heat, clocking a time 20.59. Samuels advanced to the semifinals on time. He finished fifth in his heat and 15th overall with a time of 20.86.
In the semifinals, held just over two hours after the quarterfinals, Spearmon easily advanced to the finals, finishing second in his heat and third overall with a time of 20.05.
“I just wanted to get out and run a hard turn,” Spearmon. “It’s a lot easier to run two 200’s than two 100’s. People may not think that, but I’m having fun doing this. The 200 meters is my playground.”
“To see a great competitor (Tyson Gay) go down is unfortunate, but it’s a chance for someone else to step up,” Spearmon said. “It’s a wake-up call for other athletes to take their time in warming up and being extra careful on their starts. I’m ready mentally and physically for the finals. I’m ready to make this team.”
Samuels, running in hisfifth race of the trials, finished sixth in his heat and 10th overall with a time of 20.67. He just narrowly missed moving on to Sunday’s finals.
Samuels will run next at the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) U-23 Track and Field Championships, July 18-20, in Toluca, Mexico.
“I didn’t expect to make it this far in the 200 meters,” Samuels said. “My body has been tired for the past few weeks. It’s been a long season but I gave it all I had in this race. I know all of those guys did. It didn’t work out for me to advance to the finals. Now I’m going to rest and get ready for Mexico.”
“These races (at the trials) are really going to help me prepare for NACAC,” Samuels said. “These are some of the greatest workouts I have ever had, even though it’s a track meet. I’ll be better prepared (for NACAC) than I ever was.”
For complete results, an updated list of entries and a television schedule from the U.S. Olympic Trials, visit www.usatf.org. For information on the Razorbacks at the Olympic Trials, visit www.hogwired.com.