FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Tyson Gay completed a successful sprint double (100 meters and 200 meters) at the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan. Former Hog and Fayetteville native Wallace Spearmon also earned a medal in the 200-meter finals.
Gay took the 200-meter title in 19.76, a new World Championships meet record. Jamaica’s Usain Bolt was second with a 19.91. Spearmon clocked a 20.05 for the third-place finish.
“I believe what I did was a result of a lot of strength, a lot of prayer,” Gay said. “I’m not used to not coming off the curve first and winning. It shows that I have a lot of strength and put in a lot of hard work. Usain Bolt gave me a run for my money. I was a little nervous. I worked on my form and staying relaxed and I came out with the victory.”
Running into a .8 meters-per-second headwind, Gay took down Michael Johnson’s meet record of 19.79, coming from behind to win his second gold medal of the meet.
Maurice Green (1999) and Justin Gatlin (2005) are the only previous male athletes to have won sprint doubles at the championships.
Running in lane four, Gay trailed Bolt of Jamaica in lane five during the early stages of the race. Gay used the homestretch to gain speed and pull away from Bolt, running 19.76 to Bolt’s 19.91. Spearmon and Team USA’s Rodney Martin had strong stretch runs of their own, moving up to place third and fourth, respectively, in 20.05 and 20.06.
“My first two steps, I stumbled and tried to stand up and just run and it was too late,” Spearmon said. “I tried but there was nothing I could do. Tyson is an animal on that turn. I wanted to run the turn harder and it just didn’t work. I know I can run as fast as they did, but I guess you’ll see it later. Tyson is the man to beat. Hands down, he just proved it.”
Former Hog Eric Brown will compete in Friday’s javelin preliminaries and competition in the 4×100-meter relay will begin Friday also.
Visit www.usatf.org or www.iaaf.org for more details and an updated schedule. Highlights from the World Championships will be air on NBC and the Versus network. Visit http://www.usatf.org/events/2007/IAAFWorldOutdoorChampionships/TVSchedule.asp for a detailed schedule.