Present Olympics Athletes >> Tyson Gay
- Date of birth
World Championships (4 medals -3 gold, 1 silver)
- 100m: 1st (2007), 2nd (2009)
- 200m: 1st (2007)
- 4x100m relay : 1st (2007)
Tyson triple KO's all comers
American sprinter Tyson Gay entered an elite club of just three triple champions at the 2007 world championships to join Maurice Greene and Carl Lewis when winning gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m in Osaka. His nemesis Usain Bolt joined this club in 2009.
Gay came from behind to overtake a panicked Asafa Powell in Osaka and win the 100m in 9.85sec, he also beat Michael Johnson's championships record with 19.76sec in the final of the 200m and described the US gold in the 4x100m as the icing on the cake because he won it with his team.
Gay's 100m personal best is 9.69sec, making him the second fastest man ever, despite the painful fact he has never had the 100m world record or the Olympic title, and the arrival of the Jamaicans means he is now unlikely ever to do so.
However, he became in 2009 the first man in the history of sprinting to run under 10sec in the 100m, 20sec in the 200m and 45sec in the 400m when he clocked 44.89sec in only his fourth ever outing over the 400m distance.
Gay is ranked third all-time over 200m with 19.58sec. Only world record holder Bolt (19.19sec) and Michael Johnson (19.32sec), have run faster.
The Olympics however have been something of a graveyard for his dreams.
There had been a lot of talk about Gay breaking Johnson's mythical 200m record of 19.32sec at Beijing but disaster struck at the US Olympic trials when he failed to finish the 200m final after pulling a thigh muscle.
When he arrived at Beijing he just wasn't primed and finished a shattering fifth in the semi-final, clocking 10.02sec and missing out on the final, where millions of sprint fans had been licking their lips at the prospect of three-way showdown between Bolt, Gay and Asafa Powell .
He first proved he could pack a punch with the heavyweights of world sprinting in 2006 as he bludgeoned his way to the top with a relentless series of lightening times throughout the season.
In his breakthrough year of 2005, Gay had threatened to win the 200m at the world championships in Helsinki when setting a blistering semi-final pace to go into the last-8 as the fastest man and ahead of race favourite Justin Gatlin.
Clean but neither lean nor mean
But his inexperience hamstrung him on the big day as Gatlin stormed to gold ahead of Wallace Spearmon and John Capel. Gay's fourth place finish however made it the first world track event where competitors from a single nation took the top four places.
Gay's 2011 season ended in July with a hip injury that saw him miss the world championships. He has been training on grass since in an effort to putt less wear on his body, and doesn't think his post-injury training allows him to attempt a sprint double at London.
In the run up to 2012 pundits refruse to count Gay out, despite the rise of Bolt and his compatriot Yohan Blake, the American looks a good bet for a medal and if things go right for him on the day he is perfectly capable of claiming the gold.
Copyright 2008 Agence France-Presse.