Published August 05, 2012
It's not easy being Tyson Gay. The American sprinter is one of two people ever to record a 100-meter dash under 9.7 seconds without wind assistance, is by all accounts a spectacularly nice person, yet can't climb from under the shadow of the other guy to run below a 9.7, Usain Bolt.
Bolt, of course, won gold again in the hundred-meter dash, and his training partner and countryman Yohan Blake took the silver. Blake was expected to medal — after all, he had defeated Bolt at the Jamaican Olympic trials — and Gay, who didn't make the Olympic finals in Beijing due to injury, was also expected to be in the mix.
The re-emergence of 2004 gold medalist Justin Gatlin threw a wrench in Bolt's plans, however. Gatlin blew away the field at the U.S. Olympic trials, won his heat in the preliminaries and semifinals in London and beat Gay by one-hundredth of a second, 9.79 to 9.80, to claim the bronze, leaving Gay again without an Olympic medal. He was understandably devastated after the race, in an interview with Reuters.
"I tried man. I tried my best. I just came up short."
It's heart-wrenching for Gay and his fans, considering this is likely his last chance to medal at an individual event at the Olympics—he's turning 30 years old on Thursday—and his lone shot at redemption will be in the 4x100 relay, the same event he was part of a botched baton pass in 2008.
For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation's London 2012 Olympics Hub.