American sprinter Tyson Gay sent a serious message to world-record holder, Usain Bolt with his scorching 9.77 seconds finish in the 100m at the Golden Gala in Rome on Friday.
The 2007 World Champion averted a serious challenge from former record-holding Jamaican Asafa Powell by producing the best time of the year and also equalling his personal best that bettered even Olympic gold-medallist Bolt’s performance in Jamaica this year by 0.09 seconds.
Powell who had earlier admitted to having suffered an ankle injury, too ran a pulsating race but it wasn’t good enough to overhaul the determined Gay, as he came in second at 9.88 seconds.
"I've been learning how to refocus at the start (after false starts) and that's what I've done," said the American.
"I don't know if it is a message to Bolt, it's not 9.69, but I'm pretty sure he knows I'm training and working hard."
The honest confession from the Kentucky-born sprinter was reflected in his performance as he gears up to defend his 100m and 200m titles at the World Championships in Berlin from his main rival Bolt who till now had been the unanimous favorite to sweep both the titles.
But Gay’s scintillating run in Rome has brought back the American fans a glimmer of hope after his injury-induced forgettable show at the Beijing Olympics last year.
Some cracking fireworks surely await in the men’s sprint section when the three fastest men on the earth would be setting the pace alongside each other at the athletics extravaganza in Germany next month.