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Profile of a world class sprinter Tyson Gay

Updated on March 7, 2015

Tyson Gay is one of the fastest athletes in track and field with his personal best is 9.68 wind-aided. He is currently along with Yohan Blake the second fastest athletes ever. He has won the Jesse Owen Awards twice and in 2007, He currently lives in Florida, Clement with his daughter Shoshanna Boyd and his partner Trinity. He has been sponsored by Adidas, Sega, MacDonald’s and Omega SA.


Gay was the only child of Daisy Gay and Greg Mitchell, born in Lexington, Kentucky. Gay’s Grandmother who attended Eastern Kentucky University competed athletically when she was a student; his mother had also competed until she became pregnant in her early teens. Tiffany the older sister of Gay was a dedicated sprinter at high school; it was no surprise then with his family’s competitive streak Tyson Gay along with his mother’s encouragement. Both his sister and Gay trained hard and competed at every available competition. Sibling rivalry only encouraged Gay to improve as his slow track time against his sister who had a faster reaction time. Dedication to his training paid off for Gay when he broke the Lafayette high school stadium 200 m title. Ken Northington a former 100m yard dash champion took it upon himself to train Gay by improving his technique and rhythm. In his senior years, Gay showed improvement in his athletic ability and went on to become the 100m dash champion winning the state championship and setting a new record. His mother who had always inspired him to improve and pointed out to Gay that he was not using his full potential and told him not to take his athleticism for granted. Unlike his older sister who had excelled in her studies, gay had not been academically as successful this resulted in him failing to qualify for the division of Sports College. Gay focused in his training on the 100m, which in 2001 Gay succeed and won gold in the 100m Kentucky high school state championships. It was a new personal best for the rising athlete, as well as new college record which hasn’t yet been eclipsed. In the 200m, he won silver and set again another personal best for his performance on the track.

That year he met Lance Brauman a coach at Barton County College he convinced Gay that he should enrol at the college. It was while at college he met Jamaican-born athlete Veronica Campbell-brown, they both developed a close relationship through coaching each in their training. Gay continued to beat other competitors at junior race meetings, again the following year his winning showed no signs of stopping. Injuries temporarily halted his training in 2003, Brauman had stopped coaching at Barton and started coaching instead at the University of Arkansas, Gay still wanted to be coached by Brauman and decided to apply to the university for a degree in Marketing and Sociology and so he could join the successful track and field program. It was the first time ever Gay could compete in the NCAA events, the indoor track and field Championship event of March that year resulted in him coming fifth in the 100m and fifth at the 200m. He only just missed second place by two hundredths of a second, June the same year he competed in the NCAA men’s outdoor track and field Championship he won the 100m the first time ever an athlete from the university had won. Setting a new personal record for the event, his contribution that day helped the rest of the team win the NCAA championships. His continuing achievements to date showed in 2004 that he was now able to enter the Olympic trials for both the 100m and 200m. Even though he failed to reach the finals, he did achieve notable success in the semi qualifying stages of the event. A combination of both hamstring and dehydration prevented him from competing in the 200m. Putting his missed opportunity to him, he rebounded and decided to turn professional. He competed in the outdoor USA championships; he came second winning a silver medal. Braummn Gay’s trainer was arrested for charged for illegally giving funds and credits to athletes while he was coaching at Barton and Arkansas. Gay gave testimony at court, Brauman was jailed. The result for Gay was that two of his NCAA titles and University track times were revoked. Brauman continued to coach Gay by routines and techniques while he served out his ten-month prison sentence. Finishing second Gay competed against Asfa Powell at the Stockholm racetrack in 2006. Further success followed that year when at the IAAF race meetings at Stuttgart when he was crowned World athletics champion and sharing a joint third place in the 200m with a Namibian athlete Frankie Fredericks. For using a banned drug Justin Gatlin had been suspended from the sport, Gay became the second-fastest 100m athlete in the world by winning gold at the world IAAF meeting. With Brauman still in prison, Jon Drummond a retired Olympic gold medallist who was now coaching athletes, decided to train Gay. With Jon coaching Gay, he finished third when he was up against Powell in the 100m and added gold in the 200m at Osaka, Japan in 2007. Upon his realise from jail Brauman was once again able to properly train Gay along with Drummond. His new goal was set on Beijing 2008 Olympics, a hamstring injury before the US trials prevented Gay from performing his best. At Beijing, his injuries resulted a poor performance on the race track which meant he left empty handed. In the same year, he withdrew from the 200m at Gateshead against Asfa and Powell due to his injured hamstring once again. DN Galan meeting in Stockholm in 2011 Gay beat his rival Bolt which was a significant victory for Gay. However the following year at the 2012 Olympics in London, Bolt avenged his previous years defeat to Gay by winning the 100m final. Gay came third in the race and achieved a bronze medal.

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    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 2 years ago from Nottingham UK

      It;s a shame you don't mention the 2013 doping ban which really shows Gay to be a cheat and unworthy of being a professional sportsman and casts a shadow over any of his previous results. Whether he cooperated with enquiries or not he still cheated. Had he been a banker he would have gone to jail so why shouldn't we extend that punishment to drug cheats?

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      Chase Smith 2 years ago from London, Great Britain

      Thank you cycling fitness for your comment it's a fair point you make, I'll update this article.

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