By Gary Smith, World-Track
BERLIN — American reigning World sprint double champion Tyson Gay says Usain Bolt deserves to be respected for his outstanding accomplishments on the tracks thus far.
Bolt destroyed all his competition on his way to winning three gold medals with three world records at the Olympic Games in Beijing, last summer, something no one has ever managed to do at the same Games.
"I give respect where respect is due," said Gay. "Usain Bolt deserves respect. What he does on the track is stuff that other people can’t do.
"And that right there motivates me to train harder, be the best I can be and reach goals that no one else has done before."
In what was his first full season running the 100 metres last year, Bolt broke the world record twice – with the current mark stands at 9.69 seconds, a performance that easily landed him the Olympic title in the Bird’s Nest.
The Jamaican, 22, also blasted to three times faster than 9.80secs and four time quicker than 9.90secs. He was also untouched in the 200, after sizzling to the world record of 19.30secs to win by a mile.
After being out powered by Bolt in a world record race in Reebok, Gay went back and did his home work and was right on the mark to challenge the Jamaican in Beijing, before he was struck down by an injured hamstring and failed to make the final.
And after watching Bolt easing done some 15-metres to land the Olympic crown, the American admits that it was disappointing to have to watch from the sides.
"It was very frustrating what happened in Beijing. I guess it took a little time for me to get over it. But I understand. There’s a time for everything and last year wasn’t mine.
"I feel pretty good and I feel confident. My training has been going well, my times, my finish is there, I just have to stay focussed and stick to my goal – and that’s to win in Berlin.
"I didn’t really recognise what Usain had done in the 100m in Beijing until I saw the replay. That was so exciting."
The pair has been running toe-to-toe this year, with Gay slightly ahead with his world leading marks of 9.77 and 19.58 – compared to Bolt’s 9.79 and 19.59.