By Gary Smith, World-Track
ROME — World sprint double champion Tyson Gay says he was impressed with the dazzling 200m Usain Bolt ran in Lausanne on Tuesday, but is confident he is ready to defend his titles in Berlin.
In repulsive conditions for sprinting at the Athletissima IAAF Super Grand Prix meeting Tuesday, Bolt produced one of the most dominant performances off all-time when clocked 19.59seconds to win the men’s 200m.
His performance was the fourth fastest ever in the event and was achieved on a chilly, downpour evening with the wind in his face, conditions the Jamaican is notable getting immune to.
But although admitting that his arch rival looked remarkable in his run, Gay said he was not discouraged by the threat of the World record holder.
"I watched the race. It was pretty good considering the conditions — rain, wind in the face, the cold," Gay said at a news conference Thursday on the eve of the Golden Gala in Rome.
"He looked pretty good."
Gay, who opened his season with impressive runs of 19.58secs, the world leading time this season and third fastest ever over 200m and a wind-aided 9.75sec 100m at the American trials, will face former world record holder Asafa Powell in the 100m in Rome and he is hoping for a quality outing.
"I’m really looking forward to getting my season going and setting up the world championships," the American said. "I’m 100 percent healthy."
Meanwhile, Powell, a man looking to be rounding back into form, following an ankle injury that slowed him down for the major parts of the early season, is hoping to run another sub-10 seconds in Rome, but noted getting into shape is the main focus.
"I’m not really focused on (running more than 50 sub-10 second) right now," Powell said. "I just want to get back in shape, and if I’m under 10 seconds great."
Powell, who seeks his third victory on the circuit, following his wins in Oslo and Lausanne, said his injured "ankle is about 85 percent better."