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Gay overshadowed in US championships

TYSON GAY

Tyson Gay of USA seen in Action during the Diamond League meeting in Laussane, Switzerland in 2013.

EUGINE, June 26 – Tyson Gay launched his bid for a first World Championships berth since 2009 on Thursday, but Remontay McClain’s 9.82sec overshadowed the veteran in the 100m heats at the US athletics championships.

The 22-year-old McClain’s impressive, albeit wind-aided, effort relegated his training partner Gay to second place in 9.85sec in a heat run in a favorable wind of 4.9 meters per second.

And 19-year-old collegian Trayvon Bromell won his heat in 9.84sec — the time matching the third-fastest of the year and run in a legal wind of 1.3 meters per second.

It’s a sign of the task Gay faces as he tries to move on from a one-year doping ban and re-establish himself as the kind of sprint force he was in winning 100m, 200m and 4x100m gold at the 2007 World Championships.

The 32-year-old American acknowledged that he finds himself in a “different era.”

“It was weird — maybe weird’s not the right word — the different guys I’m running with now,” Gay said. “It’s a different era for me. When I went in the back, all the new faces — it was different.”

But he was pleased with a performance that he believes sets him up well for Friday’s semi-finals and final.

“I just wanted to get there as easy as possible,” he said, adding that coach John Smith had told him McClain was primed for a fast time.

“I just wanted to run comfortable and make it to the next round,” he said. “It felt good, I felt relaxed, wanted to get out there and get the nerves out of the way and go from there.”

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The top three in each event at this week’s championships qualify for the August 22-30 World Championships in Beijing.

Justin Gatlin, who owns the two fastest 100m in the world this year with times of 9.74 and 9.75, has a bye into the worlds as the 2014 Diamond League 100m title winner and is focusing this week on the 200m and a possible Beijing double.

In the women’s 100m heats, former world champion Carmelita Jeter blazed to a wind-aided 10.87 to lead the way into the semi-finals.

Jeter, the 2011 world champion who raced through a quadriceps injury and settled for bronze at the 2013 Worlds in Moscow, just edged Jasmine Todd, who finished second in their heat in the same time in a favorable wind of 4.5 meters per second.

Tianna Bartoletta was third in 10.89, while collegian Jenna Prandini won her heat in a wind-aided 10.90sec, fourth-fastest of the round.

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