25 August 2012
Tyson Gay, the second fastest man of all time and former 100m and 200m World Champion, will race over 200m for the first time in two years at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix this Sunday at the sold-out Birmingham Alexander Stadium.
The 30-year-old will be competing in Birmingham for the first time, and until the recent Olympic Games, had held the formidable record of never having been beaten on British soil. He came away from London 2012 with a 4X100m silver medal but was denied an individual 100m bronze medal by compatriot Justin Gatlin by 0.01secs in the Olympic final.
Having been hampered by numerous injuries since becoming double World Champion in 2007 – most recently a groin injury that affected his 2012 preparation – Gay decided two years ago to focus solely on the 100m sprint. After a two year hiatus, he is relishing the opportunity to run the half-lap distance in the UK’s final Samsung Diamond League meet of the season this Sunday.
He said: “I’m excited and appreciative to be given a chance to run my first 200m in two years this Sunday in Birmingham. I feel like my body is ready for the longer sprint again.”
Gay will be tested by a strong line-up including Olympic 200m finalists Wallace Spearmon of the USA and the Netherlands’ Churandy Martina, as well sub-20 second Jamaican Nickel Ashmeade and Gay’s relay teammate Ryan Bailey. The Florida resident is also fully aware of the threat posed by up-and-coming British star Adam Gemili (coach: Michael Afilaka), who will line up against him on Sunday.
“It will be a nice test for me going up against guys like Martina, Ashmeade and Spearmon who are all in good form. Young Adam Gemili from the UK is an exciting talent too. I’m confident that I can put forward a competitive time.”
Competing over 200m is a relatively new experience for Gemili, but after running 20.61secs in Bedford in June, the 18-year-old is looking forward to making his mark over the longer distance.
The World Junior 100m champion said: "There are going to be some 200m specialists out on the track, but I am keen to show that I can make that transition from the 100m and compete against the best.
"Make no mistake, it will be a fiercely contested race, but I'm more than capable of rising to the occasion and showing a glimpse of what is to come from me in the next few years."
In all, the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix will see 17 gold medallists from London 2012 and 45 medallists take to the track and field, headlined by double Olympic champion Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar) running in the 2 mile race.
The full list of Olympic medallists includes:
Ryan Bailey (silver in 4x100m)
Tyson Gay (silver in 4x100m)
Luguelin Santos (silver in 400m)
Angelo Taylor (silver in 4X400m)
Leo Manzano (silver in 1500m)
Abdalaati Iguider (bronze in 1500m)
Mo Farah (gold in 5000m & 10,000m)
Abel Mutai (bronze in 3000m s/c)
Aries Merritt (gold in 110m h)
Jason Richardson (silver in 110m h)
Hansle Parchment (bronze in 110m h)
Ivan Ukhov (gold in HJ)
Mutaz Essa Barshim (bronze in HJ)
Robbie Grabarz (bronze in HJ)
Greg Rutherford (gold in LJ)
Mitchell Watt (silver in LJ)
Will Claye (bronze in LJ & silver in TJ)
Christian Taylor (gold in TJ)
Robert Harting (gold in discus)
Ehsan Hadadi (silver in discus)
Gerd Kanter (bronze in discus)
Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce (gold in 100m, silver in 200m, silver in 4x100m)
Carmelita Jeter (silver in 100m, bronze in 200m, gold in 4x100m)
Kellie Wells (110m hurdles bronze)
Lauryn Williams (4x100m gold)
Sherone Simpson (4x100m silver)
Christine Ohuruogu (silver in 400m)
DeeDee Trotter (bronze in 400m & gold in 4x400m)
Francena McCorory (gold in 4x400m)
Shericka Williams (bronze in 4x400m)
Rosemarie Whyte (bronze in 4x400m)
Mariya Savinova (gold in 800m)
Vivian Cheruiyot (silver in 5000m & bronze in 10,000m)
Sally Kipyego (silver in 10,000m)
Natalia Antyukh (gold in 400m h & silver in 4x400m)
Zuzanna Hejnova (bronze in 400m h)
Olga Rypakova (gold in TJ)
Olha Saladuha (brozne in TJ)
Jenn Suhr (gold in PV)
Yarisley Silva (silver in PV)
Valerie Adams (gold in SP)
Evgeniia Kolodko (silver in SP)
Barbora Spotakova (gold in javelin)
Christina Obergfoll (silver in javelin)
A full start list is available at: http://www.diamondleague-birmingham.com/Live-StartlistsResults/Overview/
Back the team and watch the world’s best athletes in action at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium on 26 August. Live coverage on BBC2 from 2-5pm.