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Palace 200m for Tyson Gay

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Tyson Gay


14 July 2009

TRIPLE World Champion Tyson Gay is set to run over 200m at the Aviva London Grand Prix in twelve days time as he prepares to defend his title at the World Championships in Berlin next month.

The American sprint star, who won 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay gold at the World Championships in Osaka two years ago, has already shown he is in terrific form this summer after matching his own US record of 9.77seconds to win the 100m in Rome last week.

Gay has only raced once this season over 200m – when he clocked 19.58 seconds in New York back in May. That time – the third fastest ever behind Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt and American sprint legend Michael Johnson - remains the world lead mark this season.

Now the 26-year-old will take to the track in London in what will be his final outing before the IAAF World Championships in Berlin.

Gay said: “"The race in London is important for me as a final test for the World Championships. I’ve only raced once this season in the 200m and I was really happy with that.  Another 200m fits perfectly into my preparation for Berlin at this time and London will be the place to do that.”

Injury put paid to Gay’s Olympic dreams last year in Beijing, where he reached the semi-finals of the 100m after suffering a hamstring strain in the build-up to the Games. But now he’s targeting the defence of his world titles, which means a much –anticipated battle against the triple Olympic champion and man-of-the-moment, Usain Bolt.

Last week Gay put down a marker ahead of Berlin as he clocked 9.77 seconds over 100m in Rome to beat Jamaican Commonwealth champion Asafa Powell in a world lead time, having previously recorded a wind-assisted 9.75 seconds in the first round of the US Trials.

Gay, who won IAAF Athlete of the Year in 2007 said: "I want to go to Berlin and defend my titles, and I’m happy with my progress this season so far.  But we have a way to go.”

Gay has already enjoyed great success at the Crystal Palace track, winning the 100m in 2007 as well as victory in the 200m in 2006, when he set what was then a new stadium record of 19.84 seconds. That record was broken by Usain Bolt last year.

Meanwhile fellow American Michael Rodgers will line up against Bolt in the 100m. The 24-year-old recently shot to prominence with a terrific win at the US Trials, which followed another impressive run at the Prefontaine Classic in June where he set a new personal best of 9.94 seconds.

Rodgers will also line up in the US team in the 4x100m relay at the UKA event, which takes place on 24 and 25 July.

Tickets for the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace, London on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th July are available by phone on 08000 556 056 or online at www.uka.org.uk