DES MOINES, Iowa – Mentally, Tyson Gay is now in a good place. Physically, too.
That’s the healing power of running fast at nationals.
Once and for all, Gay put to rest any questions about his surgically repaired hip as he completed the 100-200 sprint double Sunday at the U.S. track championships, winning the 200 meters in 19.74 seconds.
It is the fastest time in the world this season. Gay also beat Justin Gatlin in the 100 on Friday in a season-leading time of 9.75.
“I’m pretty tired,” Gay said. “I’m just glad I’m leaving the race healthy.”
With his strong performance, Gay delivered an emphatic message to the rest of the world, and more specifically Usain Bolt: The Gay of old is back. Not the version hobbled by nagging injuries over the years, but the one who captured the 100 and 200 titles at the 2007 world championships.
“I’m just happy to be healthy,” Gay said. “It feels good, man.”
It should be quite a show when he meets up with Bolt at worlds in Moscow in August. Not that Gay is thinking any farther than icing down his legs after an exhausting weekend.
“I’m just focused on myself right now,” Gay said. “It’s no secret Usain Bolt is obviously the greatest of all time. He’s definitely going to be prepared.”
In the women’s 200, Kimberlyn Duncan upset Olympic champion Allyson Felix. Duncan finished in a wind-aided 21.80, with Felix 0.05 seconds behind. Jeneba Tarmoh was third.
Felix said she got a late start on training and hasn’t completely found her racing form yet.
Still, Duncan did something in this race that few have done to Felix – made up ground and blazed by her at the finish.
“I didn’t know what to do. I was overjoyed,” said the 21-year-old Duncan, who won three straight NCAA 200 outdoor titles at LSU. “I’ll take that time, windy or not.”
It was a busy day to finish nationals, with one final after another in rapid succession. Other winners included Alysia Montano (800), Jennifer Simpson (5,000), Duane Solomon (men’s 800), Ryan Wilson (110 hurdles), Bernard Lagat (5,000), Erik Kynard (high jump), Riley Dolezal (javelin), Evan Jager (3,000 steeplechase), Dalilah Muhammad (400 hurdles), George Kitchens (long jump), Ryan Whiting (shot put), Gia Lewis-Smallwood (discus) and Tim Seaman (20,000 race walk).