Tyson Gay, the fastest man in American history, will compete in the 4x100-meter relay on Saturday in what may be his final Olympic race.
The 30-year-old sprinter, who holds the American record and the second-fastest 100-meter time ever, has never taken home a medal. He missed out on the podium in the 100-meter dash by .01 seconds, with the bronze going to fellow American Justin Gatlin.
Gay will get his chance to redeem himself Saturday alongside Gatlin, Trell Kimmons and Ryan Bailey. The US team had the fastest heat in qualifying, setting the national record with a time of 37.38 seconds. The Jamaicans were right behind them, but neither Tyson Gay nor Usain Bolt took part in the opening heat.
The Jamaicans own the world record for the relay, posting a time of 37.04 at the 2011 World Championships in South Korea. The team for London will feature Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake—the same four that set the record last September. They will be looking to show their dominance with another record-breaking performance.
The U.S. and Tyson Gay, however, will be attempting to alleviate their suffering from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. In the qualifying heat, Gay and Darvis Patton failed to securely pass the baton and it fell to the ground, resulting in disqualification and no chance at a medal.
Gay will try to put all of this behind him on Saturday.
Barring another mishandling of the baton, the U.S. has a great shot at the podium. The gold looks to be Jamaica's unless Tyson Gay and company can step it up and shock the world. They will be up against Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake, who took home gold and silver in the 100-meter race.
The Americans' race will have to be flawless and the combination of Gay and Gatlin will have to stay close with Bolt and Blake for a chance at victory.
When it is all said and done, the U.S. will likely go home with at least a silver, and Tyson Gay will finally win his first Olympic medal.
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