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Gay delivers 1-2 punch

200 win caps sprint sweep

INDIANAPOLIS -- That blur speeding through Indy was Tyson Gay.

Running on a wet track, with the wind blowing in his face, Gay completed one of the most impressive sprint doubles in the sport's history yesterday.

The quiet, 24-year-old former Arkansas sprinter ran the second-fastest 200 meters ever, a 19.62-second dash that broke Michael Johnson's meet record on the final day of the US track and field championships.

Add that to his 9.84-second triumph into the wind in the 100 Friday, and no other sprinter's marks in the same meet can match him.

Gay's 200 time was second only to Johnson's world record 19.32 set at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. Johnson set the US meet record of 19.66 at the Olympic Trials earlier that year, a world record at the time.

Wallace Spearmon, the defending US champion and Gay's training partner in Fayetteville, Ark., was second in 19.89, with Rodney Martin third at 20.18.

"The time was excellent. The race was excellent, too," Gay said. "I wasn't thinking about any time. I was trying to get away from Wallace Spearmon as fast as I could."

Xavier Carter, who had the second-fastest 200 meters before Gay's big run, was carried off the track on a stretcher after injuring his right leg in the event's semifinals earlier yesterday. The injury -- his kneecap popped out of place then back in -- wasn't as serious as was initially thought.

The 200 was to have included four of the six fastest runners in the event's history, but only two of them were in the final -- Spearmon and Gay. In addition to Carter's absence, Walter Dix didn't show up for the preliminary round.

Gay said he was surprised at how one-sided his victories were this week. "Some people were injured," he said. "I'm sorry for Xavier, it's really been on my mind. I even heard Asafa Powell may have pulled up slightly in his trials. I want everyone to get healthy."

Powell won the 100 at the Jamaican championships Saturday but appeared to labor at the finish. His brother Nigel said the injury was not serious.

The athletes wrapped up four days of competition at Carroll Stadium on the edge of downtown Indianapolis. The top three finishers in each event make the US team for the world championships to be held Sept. 25-Aug. 2 in Osaka, Japan, providing they have met the necessary qualifying standards. Defending world champion Allyson Felix won the women's 200 in 22.34. Sanya Richards, who failed to make the US team with a fourth-place finish in her best event, the 400, Saturday, made the squad in the 200 with a second-place finish at 22.43.

Alan Webb broke Steve Scott's 25-year-old meet record in the 1,500, winning his third US title in 3:34.82. For the first time since 1993, Allen Johnson won't be competing at the worlds. The 36-year-old seven-time US champion was seventh in the 110 hurdles. Terrence Trammell won in 13.08.