Gay glad to step out of Bolt's shadow

Sprinter targets British all-comers' record in Grand Prix at Gateshead today

There was a late addition yesterday to the cast of World Championship stars who will be parading at the Aviva British Grand Prix at Gateshead International Stadium this afternoon. It is fair to say he was the biggest star in Berlin. Fortunately for Tyson Gay, though, it is not the 6ft 5in Usain Bolt but the 8ft tall Berlino the Bear.

The giant clowning mascot came closest to stealing the show from the joker of a Jamaican sprinter (below right) in the German capital – to such an extent Bolt appeared for the 200m final sporting a tee-shirt proclaiming "Ich bin ein Berlino". The original Berlino also famously crashed into a stack of hurdles while giving a celebratory piggyback to Melaine Walker, the Jamaican winner of the women's 400m hurdles.

Walker will not be among the 32 World Championship medallists on Tyneside today. Gay (below left) will be on the track at Gateshead, and just about in one piece following his collision with the Lightning Bolt in Berlin.

The man from Kentucky pushed his body so hard in attempting to keep within range of Bolt in the 100m final 15 days ago he aggravated the groin problem that restricted his training ahead of the World Championships. He withdrew from the 200m in Berlin and today's 100m will be his first shift back at the home-straight office since the night he ran the race of his life, a 9.71sec US record, only to find himself eclipsed by Bolt's 9.58sec world record blitz.

Marc Burns, the Trinidadian who finished seventh in 10.00sec, is the only other Berlin 100m finalist in a Gateshead field that also includes the 2003 world champion, Kim Collins from St Kitts, plus three-quarters of Britain's bronze medal winning 4x100m relay team, Marlon Devonish, Tyrone Edgar and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey. The chances are that Gay will wind up chasing the clock, although the forecasted wind and rain may put the UK allcomers' record – the world record equalling 9.77sec Asafa Powell clocked on a fair Gateshead day in June 2006 – out of range of the 27-year-old American. Another mitigating factor could be the lingering groin problem which now looks certain to force him under the surgeon's knife in search of a permanent cure. "We'll just have to see," Gay said yesterday, when asked whether he would be targeting the best ever time on British soil. "I'm just a tad sore but I'll do my best to get it because I'm trying to still run fast.

"My injury's about the same. The guy who's been working on it said the quick way, and maybe safer way, is to do the surgery, to make sure it doesn't happen again. So it's looking like at the end of the season I'm going to see who's the best surgeon out there."

In addition to Gay and Berlino the Gateshead meeting features the four British athletes who bagged individual medals in Berlin: Jessica Ennis, Phillips Idowu, Lisa Dobriskey and Jenny Meadows.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future