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August 14, 2009

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Gay ready to challenge Bolt at Berlin showdown

TYSON Gay believes it will take a world record to win the 100-meter gold medal at the upcoming world championships in Berlin, and that he's the man to do it.

The American sprinter's showdown with the man who owns the world record, Jamaican star Usain Bolt, is probably the most anticipated event of the championships that starts tomorrow. The heats are on the opening day and the final is held on Sunday.

"If that's what it takes, I'll go for 9.6, I'll try for the world record," Gay said yesterday. "That's the number in my head. I want to win, but I also want to run fast. I believe 9.6 or faster is possible and that's my goal. I think it's going to be a surprise at how fast the human body can run."

Bolt ran 9.69 seconds to set the record at the Beijing Olympics last year.

Gay is the defending world champion in the 100 and 200, having won the titles two years ago in Osaka, Japan. But he failed to make the 100 final in Beijing and was overshadowed by Bolt's stunning show, when the Jamaican pulverized the field and broke world records in both the 100 and 200 (19.30).

This year Gay has run faster than Bolt over both distances.

Gay ran 9.77 in the 100 in Rome last month, compared to Bolt's 9.79 in Paris. In the 200, the American ran 19.58 in New York, just 0.01 faster than Bolt's time in Lausanne, Switzerland - although Gay had much more favorable weather conditions than Bolt on both occasions.

"He's already shown the world what he can do but I haven't shown all my talents yet," Gay said.

The two fastest sprinters in the world rarely race each other and the Berlin championship is their first head-to-head this year.

Although they haven't run against each other, they did run into one another last week - at the same Munich doctor.

"He was coming in and I was leaving. It was cool," said Gay, who went there to have another check on a slight groin problem.

"Physically, I'm OK," said Gay, who skipped a practice meet over the weekend.

Bolt injured his foot in a car crash this year, but reportedly went to the Munich doctor to have a look at his back.

Aside from speed, however, Gay said the two don't have much in common in terms of personalities.

"I'm what you'd probably call boring. He is very entertaining, very funny and he has a lot of personality. He also backs it up. I'm more low-key. It's good for the fans."


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