By Gary Smith, World-Track
COTTBUS, Germany — Defending his triple gold medals at the upcoming IAAF World Championships is the priority of American sprinter Tyson Gay. Gay, who set the standards at the last world championships in Osaka, two-years-ago, is being bothered by a groin nag, which has slightly affected his preparation for the event.
The 26-year-old opted to skip running a relay leg on the American team that dominated the Lausitzer International Meeting at Cottbus on Saturday as a measure of precaution, but said he is back to being at his best.
"I didn’t want to take any risks," said Gay, who believes he will have to be at his best to hold off his arch rival Usain Bolt of Jamaica in Berlin.
"From here to the world championships," he noted. "I will be at 100 percent of my capacities."
Gay leads the world with an American and personal best record of 9.77 seconds over the 100m and a career best of 19.58 for the 200m.
Those performances will definitely see the soft-spoken sprinter starting as one of the favourites in Berlin.
Bolt, who dominated the Olympic Games with world record performances last summer on his way to winning three gold medals, with three world records, is however, confident he can dethrone Gay of his titles.
His 9.79 and 19.59 year bests, which were accomplished in unfriendly sprinting conditions earlier this season, have him just a step behind the American.
Bolt said those times were done with him being only at 85-percent, and he believes with an improvement in his shape one of his world records could go in Berlin.
"If I get myself to where I want to be, I should be in good shape to break the world record in Berlin," the Jamaican noted earlier.
"Tyson’s shown that he is ready to come at me…and I’m trying to get myself into shape so I am ready to compete with him."
Another man to look out for is Antigua’s rising star Daniel Bailey, a man knocking the doors and is buzzing with confidence about winning a medal.
Former world record holder Asafa Powell has the ability to do wonders, but has yet to prove to anyone that he is indeed a championships performer.