BERLIN, August 14 – Defending triple world sprint champion Tyson Gay has admitted that he was "boring" compared to Jamaican Olympic nemesis Usain Bolt.Bolt repeated at the Beijing Olympics what Gay achieved in the 2007 worlds in Osaka – winning gold in the 100m, 200m and as part of the 4x100m relay team – but all in world record times.
The Jamaican also brought more than a touch of razzmatazz while showing none of the outright cockiness that many lesser sprinters often display.
"I am probably what you would call ‘boring’," acknowledged Gay.
"I don’t really flex my muscles too much before the race or anthing like that.
"At the same time, I am always the same person."
Gay’s pre-race activities mirror most of his fellow competitors, who try to zone out all around them to go through the mental imaging they say helps them run to the best of their ability.
Bolt, on the other hand, will often joke around, even gooning to the television cameras as they pan to his lane just seconds before starter’s orders.
And of course, his infamous "Bolt dance" has become a tradition, with sponsors even flying a dance troupe around the world for the races in which Bolt competes.
Invariably he wins and takes his much-mimicked stance, aiming an invisible bow and arrow skyward.
"Bolt is a very unique individual, he is very funny and has a lot of personality," said Gay.
"He’s exciting and we both bring our own styles to the race."
But public and rivals beware, for Bolt has warned that a new dance might be about to appear.
"If I win, there will be a new dance, if I win, you will see it," beamed Bolt.
The two sprinters were also split over the controversial new IAAF ruling on false starts, which will see the disaqualification from 2010 of any athlete who false starts on the first occasion.
"No, I don’t think it’s an improvement," said Gay.
"I don’t know the details behind the rules, I talked to Frankie Fredericks about it and he said if he comes to a major championships and someone false starts and is out, that is a waste of a ticket.
"You come to watch people run, not false start. I don’t really agree with it, I don’t know if it is all for television or what not, but I don’t do this for television.
"I am a human being, like the rest of the athletes, I make mistakes.
The new rule will effect athletes a lot mentally, because every time you go to a race now, if you move, you are out.
"People will have to sit more and wait and not react like they want to, people will be more cautious.
"You move you are out, it will leave certain people out."
Bolt, however, was bullish over the new ruling.
"I have never false-started, so it’s not an issue for me, it might be a problem for some people, but not for me," he said.