Gay eyes US trials as he moves closer to recovery

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 30, 2012
After Tyson Gay finished his sixth and final 100-meter sprint on a warm and humid day, he walked to a nearby shaded bench and crashed. He sat down for a few seconds, and then stretched out along the metal bleacher. It was painful progress. The former world champion is getting closer to a full recovery from a hip injury that cost him part of last year. He held an open workout Friday at the National Training Center, showing he's healthy and ready to defend his 100-meter title at the U.S. Olympic trials in June. ''The trials are tough,'' Gay said. ''I know all these guys are going to be gunning for me, gunning for that spot, gunning for glory. I want to defend my championship and get to London.'' Making the U.S. Olympic team is only one of his goals. For everything Gay has accomplished - he dominated the world championships in 2007 and posted the second-fastest time ever in the 100 meters in 2009 - he doesn't have an Olympic medal. He was expected to challenge Jamaican star Usain Bolt in Beijing in 2008, but a severe hamstring injury slowed him down. His hip injury last year was even worse. The sprinter had surgery in July to repair a torn labrum. He spent seven weeks on crutches and then had some minor setbacks because of a degenerative pubic bone. Even now, he's still being cautious with his rehabilitation. His trainer, Lance Brauman, is having Gay do part of his daily workouts on grass in hopes of easing the pressure on his hip and his 29-year-old body. ''I'm doing a lot of things different the older I get, just trying to be mature in that area, to understand I just can't just pound and get up the next day and pound some more,'' Gay said. ''I have to pick and choose my battles.'' He's being equally choosy with his racing schedule. Gay doesn't have any races planned before the U.S. trials. Could he really just show up in Eugene, Ore., in June and have his first race be a qualifying heat? ''Yeah, that's scary,'' he said. ''But that's my plan. I may try to get once race in then before then; I'm not sure. I plan on taking all the years of muscle memory and all the years of learning and put it together at the trials.'' Brauman believes Gay's experience outweighs the need for any warm-up events. ''He has the ability to train at very high intensity,'' Brauman said. ''So compared to most people, he might not need as many races. You'd prefer to have a couple of races before the trails. But at the end of the day, if his first race is at the Olympic trials, then he'll be ready to run.'' Gay estimates he is only about 75 percent recovered. It hardly showed during drills Friday. After some auxiliary work on the track in the morning and a weight-training session after lunch, he took to the grass and the sunshine for the toughest part of his day. He ran six 100-meter sprints with only 15 seconds of downtime between sets of two, and then ran eight 40-meter sprints. He finished his nearly hour-long session with a 200-meter sprint. Reporters and television cameras took note of every step. ''It's refreshing,'' he said. ''It can get hot, a little boring out here by yourself every day. ''It's refreshing to know people haven't forgot about you and they remind that you the Olympics are coming up and they want to see me succeed.'' No one wants that more than Gay, who would love to add an Olympic medal to his resume. ''I put some pressure on myself because I want to get it accomplished,'' he said. ''That's my goal. I want an Olympic medal, to come home with it. I'm never going to be satisfied, but I would be satisfied in that area with a medal.'' Preferably a gold one. And he's well aware that Bolt stands in the way. Gay has beaten Bolt before, so he knows it's possible. And although he spent the last four years running in Bolt's shadow, he wouldn't have it any other way. ''I don't think it's bad timing,'' Gay said. ''People say, `Dang, you would be the world-record holder and you would be this, you would be that.' At the end of the day, if Bolt wasn't here, I may not have ever thought about running 9.5 or 9.6. Running his times has helped me reach further goals of mine as well as dropping my time. ''I can't say I'd be better without him. Financially? Media attention? Superstar status? Yeah, maybe. But I don't really look for that. I just enjoy running.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Grizzlies want Kevin Durant in free agency

WATCH: Karl-Anthony Towns throws down monster dunk

Dos Anjos: McGregor will 'break like a girl' at UFC 196

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Fighter says sex before fight partly to blame for loss

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker