Since last summer fans and pundits alike have been debating who will prevail in a 100-meter show down between reigning 100 and 200-meter world champion Tyson Gay of the U.S. and current world record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica.
What’s fueling the debate is that Gay beat Powell head-to-head in the 100-meter finals at the 2007 world championships last summer in Osaka. It was clear to most fans that Powell tensed up and panicked in the final 40 meters, finishing third behind Tyson Gay and Derrick Adtkins of the Bahamas.
Despite blazing times, Powell has struggled at major competitions, missing a medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics. The 2007 world championship race again called into question his ability to win the big races. Then one month later, Asafa went to Rieto, Italty in a meet that didn't matter much and broke his own world record in 9.74.
Hopefully, the speculating will end soon. Talks are currently under way between the sprinters’ agents and meet directors to solidify at least one, or possibly two, clashes between the track giants. The sprinters are likely to meet after the Olympic Trials and before the Olympic games, which leaves them meeting in July in Stockholm, London, or Monaco.
The debate, however, will not end until after Powell and Gay race at the 100-meter finals in Beijing. I love it! This star studded rivalry is good for track and field.
By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist