SPEEDING: Tyson Gay, left, broke Tommie Smithâ€™s 44-year-old record in the 200 meters on a straight track (19.41 seconds) in England on Sunday. Smith was in attendance as the 27-year-old Gay is working to catch up to official 200m record holder Usain Bolt.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — American sprinter Tyson Gay broke a 44-year-old world mark for the 200 meters on a straight track.
Gay ran 19.41 seconds into a slight headwind Sunday on a specially constructed track in Manchester, shaving 0.09 off Tommie Smith’s mark set in May 1966 at San Jose, California.
Smith was at the Great City Games to watch the 27-year-old Gay beat his time, which isn’t an official world record because athletic’s governing body only recognizes 200s run around a curve.
“Going into the race I knew it was going to be tough to beat the record,” Gay said. “It was pretty hard for the first 100 meters or so and I was extremely tired.
“Kim Collins had an excellent start and I think that motivated me to get down the street. It was truly amazing and it was tough record to break.”
Gay, a former 100 and 200 world champion, is working toward challenging three-time Olympic champ Usain Bolt’s supremacy.
“He’s going to be tough to beat,” Gay said. “Honestly, he’s in another class right now but I’m working hard to get there. The challenge is for me to work hard to get to where he is at.”