EUGENE, Oregon—Tyson Gay fell behind early and made up ground in a hurry on college amateur Trayvon Bromell to win the 100 meters at the US championships on Friday.
“Man, that kid is tough,” Gay said about the 19-year-old Bromell. “He got out good and I had one of those 10-years-of-experience, dig-down moments.”
The 32-year-old Gay finished in 9.87 seconds to secure a spot at the world championships in Beijing this summer. Michael Rodgers was third to make the world team along with Justin Gatlin, who didn’t compete because he had an automatic bye courtesy of his Diamond League title.
In the women’s 100, Tori Bowie used a late surge to sneak by English Gardner, taking the crown in 10.81. Jasmine Todd was third.
Gay hasn’t competed at worlds since 2009. He missed the 2011 competition with a hip injury and qualified in 2013, but withdrew after failing a drug test that resulted in a one-year suspension.
He returned last summer and has been making changes ever since, switching coaches and coasts as he moved from Florida to California. He wears his hair longer and has a new sponsor in Nike.
The one thing he can’t change? His perception after his doping suspension.
“I’ve got a second chance to make up for the mistake I made,” Gay said. “I’m here to do that.”
Bromell sensed Gay rapidly approaching, but couldn’t hold him off. “I knew what kind of competitors I had in the race,” said Bromell, who’s putting off a decision whether he will turn pro or return to Baylor for his junior college season. “I came out with second so I was happy.”
Next up for Gay is trying to catch up to world record-holder Usain Bolt, who suddenly looks mortal. Bolt was going to run the 100 at the Jamaican trials earlier this week to work on his technique, but changed his mind.
“You can never count a person like Bolt,” three-time 100 world champ Maurice Greene said. “All it takes is for Bolt to get a little work in and who knows what he’s going to come out and do?”
Sanya Richards-Ross missed out on qualifying for the 400 final. She finished fifth in her heat during the semis. Richards-Ross could always make the team as part of the relay. Allyson Felix won her heat to advance. Hurdler Lolo Jones, who had shoulder surgery in November and suffered two hamstring tears in April, advanced out of the preliminary round. Trey Hardee ran away with the decathlon title, especially with Ashton Eaton sitting the event out since he had an automatic bye to worlds. Hardee finished with 8,725 points, 461 more than Jeremy Taiwo.
Image credits: AP