Gay gunning for more glory in London

LONDON, Aug 12, 2010 (AFP) - Tyson Gay will look to follow up his victory over world and Olympic champion Usain Bolt in Stockholm last week when he goes head to head with Asafa Powell in the 100 metres at the London Grand Prix here on Friday.

American sprinter Gay handed Bolt only his second professional 100m defeat when easily beating the Jamaican in last Friday's Diamond League meet in the Swedish capital, clocking 9.84 seconds.

Tyson Gay (L) wins the men's 100 m final ahead of Jamaica's Usain Bolt (R) at the IAAF Diamond League meeting at the Stockholm Olympic Stadium in Stockholm, on August 6, 2010. AFP

Bolt on Tuesday announced he would not be competing for the rest of 2010 because of a back injury, leaving sprint rivals Gay and Powell to battle it out in the three remaining Diamond League meetings.

Powell, who like compatriot Bolt has run a world-best time of 9.82 secs this year, was absent in Stockholm owing to back trouble and admits he is not at peak fitness.

"I have had a lot of problems with my groin and that spread to my back and hamstrings," Powell said. "Since Paris (July 16), I have been unable to train at 100 percent. I have been getting treatment twice a day every day and slowly I am getting better.

"My coach (Stephen Francis) and manager (Paul Doyle) have all my races lined up but I am not even aware of what is next," added Powell. "All I am doing is focusing on getting healthy and back able to race. I am taking it day by day."

Gay, a three-time world champion, has beaten Powell over 100m on English soil already this season - at the Diamond League event in Gateshead last month - and will be the favourite at Crystal Palace after his recent exploits against Bolt.

Trinidad's Richard Thompson and American pair Walter Dix and Wallace Spearmon are also down to compete in the sprint.

There will be many other intriguing battles in the two-day meet, where the crowd will welcome back a host of athletes who helped Britain return a record 19-medal haul at the European Championships in Barcelona.

Home favourite Mo Farah, the new European 5,000m and 10,000m champion, will take on Kenyan-born American Bernard Lagat over 3,000m. Lagat won world indoor gold at that distance earlier this year.

Also on Friday, three-time world champion Allyson Felix of the United States competes in the 200m and former world champions Bershawn Jackson and Felix Sanchez go up against David Greene and Rhys Williams, who grabbed a British 1-2 at the European Championships, in the 400m.

American 100m hurdler David Oliver has been in form this season, clocking a personal best of 12.89 secs - just 0.02 secs off Dayron Robles's world record - in Paris, and has another chance in London to surpass the Cuban's best time. Britain's new European champion Andy Turner will also be present on Saturday.

American Jeremy Wariner, the Diamond Race leader in the 400m thanks to four victories in the series this season, will go head to head with closest rival Jermaine Gonzales of Jamaica.

And in the field events, there should be a three-way fight for victory in the men's triple jump when Britain's world and newly crowned European champion Phillips Idowu, Sweden's Christian Olsson and France's Teddy Tamgho face off.

There are two more Diamond League events this season - in Zurich on August 19 and in Brussels eight days later.

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