Gay says he'll be Ready when 100 Starts Next Week

August 5, 2008 8:34:18 AM PDT
American sprinter Tyson Gay says his hamstring is feeling better and he'll be healthy and ready to go when the Olympic 100-meter races start next week. "When I step on the line in Beijing, don't worry. I'll be ready to go," Gay said Monday before departing for China from Munich, where he had been training.

He has decided to fly to Beijing and skip going to the U.S. Track team's training camp in Dalian because he wants be at Friday's opening ceremonies. Qualifying in the highly anticipated 100-meter dash starts Aug. 15.

He had been scheduled to be on the same flight to Dalian with sprinters Allyson Felix and Walter Dix, plus about a half-dozen more who arrived in the afternoon and were whisked through the airport by security and over to USA Track and Field's heavily guarded resort.

Dix, who has the chance at a 100-200 double that Gay does not, smiled and said 'Yes,' when asked if he was up to the challenge. Felix said she was happy to have arrived.

Gay, the defending world champion in the 100 and 200 meters, hurt his hamstring early last month at U.S. Olympic trials while running in preliminary heats in the 200 meters. He already had qualified for the 100. He pulled out of a race in London on July 25, saying he wanted to rest to ensure he was healthy for the Olympics.

In the 100, Gay is expected to contend along with world-record holder Usain Bolt and the man Bolt took the record from, fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell.

A statement released by Gay's manager said he has been on a gradual return to high-level training, that he was joined in Munich by his coach Jon Drummond on July 22 and that since July 11 he has been undergoing treatment from an orthopedic specialist in Munich.

At past Olympics, all potential members of the 400-meter relay team have been asked to report to the U.S. training camp to work out and practice passing the baton. USA Track has said Gay, expected to be part of that team, will not be required to come.