Gay says he’s pain-free after workout Sunday

  2008-08-10 12:30:41 GMT    2008-08-10 20:30:41 (Beijing Time)

  U.S. sprinter and gold medal contender Tyson Gay said Sunday he’s confident and “injury free” after completing a workout during which he showed no obvious signs of discomfort from the hamstring he hurt last month.

  Gay, the defending world champion in the 100 and 200 meters, had to wait almost an hour to start due to heavy rain and lightning. He did some light jogging before completing sprints of 60, 80 and 100 meters during a workout that was open to reporters.

  “I’ve been looking for an indicator to let me know where my confidence is going to be at, and I think today let me know that,” Gay said as he left the track at the U.S. Olympic training center at Beijing Normal University. “I’m happy with today’s workout: injury free, no pain.”

  He injured his left leg while running in preliminary heats in the 200 during the U.S. trials in July. He had already qualified for the 100, where he is expected to contend with world-record holder Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell, who held the record before Bolt.

  Gay pulled out of a race in London on July 25, saying he wanted to rest to ensure he was healthy for the Olympics. He said earlier this week that he would be ready, and looked comfortable running the 100 for coach Jon Drummond.

  Gay said a more detailed MRI had discovered a slightly strained tendon that was worse than originally diagnosed. He admitted having doubts about whether he would be able to get back to form in time for the games. Now, he’s “pretty close” to where he was before the injury, noting that he might have run the 100 faster had he done a second set of sprints after being fully warmed up.

  “Everyone knows I haven’t raced since nationals, but I think that was good for me because even if I would’ve ran the 200 I’d have been really fatigued,” Gay said. “I’ve seen a lot of people from the U.S. not running as fast as they were and a lot of people’s bodies are tired, so I think this rest really did me well.”