Usain Bolt’s fitness will be tested for the first time this year as he prepares for his opening race meeting in Rome
|Powell, Gay and Bolt compete during the 2009 world championships in Germany [GALLO/GETTY]|
Tyson Gay’s dream of taking on Usain Bolt at the world championships in South Korea is over after the American pulled out of semi-finals trials with a hip injury on Friday.
His manager Mark Wetmore said the American record holder was forced to withdraw from the 100 metres U.S. trials after he was unable to warm up due to a hip and adductor problem on his right side.
Wetmore said that Gay would not take part in the 200 metres trials beginning on Saturday.
“Today, I just couldn’t get it to go no matter how hard I tried,” said Gay on his Facebook page.
“My only focus now is to get healthy.”
The injury cost the upcoming world championship organisers its headline matchup – a showdown between Gay and Bolt – and robbed the American team of its only sprinter within striking distance of the Jamaican.
“It is a big blow,” said U.S. 100 metres winner Walter Dix.
“Tyson at his best is one of the top runners in the world.”
“For us to not have him means we are just going to have to step up.”
Gay could be part of the U.S. world 4x100m relay team if he recovered in time, USA Track and Field (USATF) officials said.
“But he has to be able to show fitness and be able to run,” said USATF President Stephanie Hightower.
Only the top three finishers in each event at the U.S. trials qualify for the world championships.
The cut-throat system has been questioned for years, and Gay wondered recently if it was the best way to select a team.
“I believe you should earn your spot – but sometimes it’s tough,” he told reporters in New York.
“You have a great sprinter, no matter what country they come from, they could be an Olympic champion, and they happen to be sick that morning because of food poisoning and they cannot run.”
“But I know the system and you have to deal with it,” Gay said.
No problems for Powell
Former world record holder and Jamaican 100 metres trials winner Asafa Powell expressed his sympathy for his rival.
“I hope he can come back for even the relays at the world championships,” Powell told reporters after his victory in Kingston.
Powell edged out Usain Bolt’s training partner Yohan Blake to win the Jamaican 100 metres world championship trials on Friday.
Powell clocked a winning time of 10.08 seconds into a headwind and was joined by Blake and Steve Mullings in claiming berths for August’s world championships in Daegu, South Korea.
Blake was a hundredth of a second behind Powell with Mullings a very close third in 10.10 seconds.
World record holder Bolt did not compete in the trials because he has a wildcard bye as the defending champion in both the 100 and 200.