In his first IAAF Online Diary, IAAF Diamond League Ambassador Tyson Gay reflects on his season’s preparation, his 19.42 seconds world best for 200m on a straight track, and on sharing the experience with sprint legend, Tommie Smith.
“I am writing my first Diamond League Diary entry from Manchester, England. I am here because I competed in the Powerade Manchester City Games (on Sunday). I may need to get comfortable in this hotel because it sounds like the volcano in Iceland has shut down airports here in England and Ireland... so who knows when I will get back to my training base in Florida.
“This race went real well and I was happy to get the chance to experience the event with Tommie Smith. I’m not sure people understand how fast he really ran 40 years ago. 19.5 on a cinder track straightaway, that is crazy.
“I was happy with my result basically because it shows me that my basic fitness is good and that I can sprint pain free. My training has been great but because of the surgery I had in the fall, I am a little behind where I would usually be at this time of year. The good news is that I got the chance to spend some more time with my family this winter.
“As I normally like to do, I’ve been focusing on early season longer sprint races. The 400 usually tells me if I have good aerobic fitness, but man, I found out this year that when you run sub 45, it doesn’t matter how good a shape you are in…it still hurts when you’re done. I like and hate the 400. That might sound strange, but I like what it does for me even though I hate how I feel for those few minutes afterward.
“A lot of people have been asking me here in Manchester and just in general over the last few months, what my focus is this year. So many people ask me about other athletes (like Asafa and Usain) but I firmly believe if I focus on my training, on my weaknesses, on staying healthy and doing all other preparations the way I am supposed to, that no one is unbeatable. Likewise, if I don’t do all of these things, that I can be beat by anyone.
“I have had some good races here in the UK over the last few years and I am glad I came over to experience this straightaway track in the city centre. I look forward to being back in Gateshead and then in London for the Aviva Grand Prix Diamond League events.