Tyson Gay: American Star Must Run Perfect Race to Upset Usain Bolt

Chris HummerAnalyst IAugust 5, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04:  Tyson Gay of the United States after competing in the Men's 100m Round 1 Heats on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 4, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Tyson Gay is America's best hope to win gold in the 100-meter dash, but he will have to run a perfect race to upset the defending champion Usain Bolt.

Gay is the fastest American in history in the event, with a personal best time of 9.69 seconds. However, that outstanding number is still slower than the quickest times from Jamaica's pair of stars, Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake.

Actually, his personal best is .11 seconds slower than Bolt's world record of 9.58 that he set at the 2009 World Championship.

Even worse news for Gay is that he's regressed since he ran the 9.69 in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, as he's dealt with injury after injury.

In 2008, he failed to defend his World Championship titles in the 100 and 200-meters at the Olympics after he suffered a hamstring injury running a 200 heat at the U.S. trials.

Since then it's been a different body part every year holding Gay back.

In, 2009, he had groin surgery. In 2010, it was an ankle issue that slowed him down. In 2011, he suffered a torn labrum.

Now in 2012, he's totally healthy, but his body is still recovering from all the damage it's sustained.

This caused him to finish in second to Justin Gatlin at the U.S. Olympic trials this past June, and it remains to be seen whether he's totally healthy.

 However, Gay has performed well thus far in London.

He reached the finals earlier today with a time of 9.90, but that sub-10-second time was still only the fourth fastest in the field.

However, he was in the third heat, meaning that he only ran hard enough to earn a spot in the final to conserve energy.

When he lines up for the final later today, he won’t be holding back.

In order to have success, Gay has to give it his all and run the perfect race.

That means he has to be one of the quickest out of the blocks, run with a relaxed gate and finish strong into the line.

If Gay does all of these things, he has a great chance to medal. With a little luck, he could even take home the gold.

All of his hard work to recover comes down to today's race. Now, all he has to be is perfect to realize his dreams.