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Tyson Gay is a track and field athlete who specializes in sprinting. He placed fourth in the men's 100 at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, following a hamstring injury.
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Tyson Gay has been ranked No. 1 in the world in the 100-meter dash twice in his career. A hamstring injury in 2008 prevented Gay from making it to the finals in the 100 at the 2008 Olympic Games. He placed fourth in the 100 at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, finishing behind American sprinter Justin Gatlin, who took the bronze medal.
Tyson Gay was born in Lexington, Kentucky on August 9, 1982. In his teens, he became a three-time Class 3A 100-meter state champ while at Lafayette High School, and his 10.46 state-meet record from 2001 is still standing as of 2012. After high school, Gay attended the University of Arkansas, where he became the first athlete in the school's history to win an NCAA 100-meter title.
After turning pro, Gay raced in the 2005 USA Outdoor Championships, coming in second in the 200-meter. He then ran the 200-meter sprint at the 2005 World Championships and finished fourth, behind three of his countrymen—Justin Gatlin, Wallace Spearmon and John Capel. This marked the first time that one nation took the top four positions at the event. Gay ended the 2005 season by taking the gold medal in the 200-meter at the World Athletics Final, his first major championship.
In 2007, Gay won the 100- and 200-meter sprints at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan, and took gold as a part of the 4-by-100 relay (he became only the third man to win three gold medals at a single world championships meet). Gay's 200-meter victory prompted Usain Bolt, whom Gay bested in the race, to say, "I got beaten by the No. 1 man in the world. For the moment, he is unbeatable." That same year, Gay won U.S. titles in the 100- and 200-meter races. His 200, in which he ran into a slight headwind, was the second-fastest ever recorded.
Usain Bolt would have his revenge early in 2008, however, when he set the world record at the Reebok Grand Prix, and Gay came in second. In June 2008, Gay set the American record in the 100-meter dash, running it in 9.77 seconds in the quarterfinals of the Olympic trials. The next day, he won the final in 9.68 seconds. There was a tailwind of 4.1 meters per second, however, and the time did not count as a world record (2 mps is the allowable limit).
While participating in a race for the 2008 Beijing Olympic trials, Gay suffered a strained left hamstring and did not finish, and was ruled out of the event for the Games. He did run in other events in Beijing, but ended the event with no medals, perhaps hampered all along by his injury.
At the 2009 World Championships, Gay ran a new American record of 9.71 seconds in the 100-meter, the third-fastest time ever, but nevertheless came in second to Bolt. Later that year, in Shanghai, he ran the 100 in 9.69 seconds and set a new American record.
Gay has continued his success in recent years, taking titles in Stockholm and London. At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, he placed fourth in the men's 100, finishing behind American sprinter Justin Gatlin, who took the bronze. He has yet to win an Olympic medal.
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