Pressure builds on Tyson Gay to make U.S. team

Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:14pm EDT
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By Gene Cherry

EUGENE, Oregon (Reuters) - Tyson Gay never realized how harmful stress could be until the American sprinter returned from a doping ban last year.

"It was so stressful, my hair started thinning," Gay told Reuters via phone as he prepared for this week's U.S. world championships trials in Eugene, Oregon.

The hair is fine now, maybe even a little longer than when Gay became a double world sprint champion in 2007 and set the U.S. 100 meters record two years later.

But there is new tension.

"I haven't made a world championship team since 2009 so there is a lot of pressure on myself to get back," said Gay, who was sidelined by injury in 2011 and missed the worlds two years later after a positive test for a banned steroid.

"It would mean the world to me to put on the (team) uniform again."

The 32-year-old is still undecided as to whether he will attempt to make the team in both the 100 and 200 or just the shorter distance and will make that decision after the 100 meters final on Friday.

"If I do well enough in the 100, I'll leave well enough alone and not put the extra pounding on my body," he said of the 200 meters event, which follows the 100.   Continued...

Tyson Gay of the U.S. reacts after winning the 100m at the IAAF Diamond League Grand Prix track and field competition in New York June 13, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz