• Athletics

Gay revelling in Bolt rivalry

ESPN staff
August 13, 2010

American sprinter Tyson Gay believes that he has given athletics a boost by proving that Usain Bolt is beatable.

Gay roared to a comfortable victory over Bolt in the eagerly-anticipated Diamond League showdown over 100 metres in Stockholm last week.

World record holder Bolt admitted afterwards that he is struggling to regain peak fitness after succumbing to an Achilles injury earlier this year - and he has subsequently confirmed that he will not compete again in 2010 as he bids to recover.

But Gay has revealed that his victory has captured the public interest, irrespective of whether Bolt was performing at his optimum level or not.

"That race, even though there weren't any medals on the line, meant a lot to people and to fans of the sport," Gay said. "Why? I think because so many people said Bolt would never be beaten.

"A rivalry has to be good for the sport and now, when we race next year at the World Championships, it's going to be even more exciting.

"When he says he will be ready for next year, I really believe him."

Gay will compete at the London Grand Prix tonight, but his scheduled duel with Asafa Powell has been scrapped after the Jamaican pulled out with back and hamstring injuries.

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