Cramp Fells Tyson Gay in 200m Trials

Injury a jolting reminder that talent isn't always enough
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2008 5:55 AM CDT
Tyson Gay is helped to a wheel chair after falling during the first quarterfinal heat of the men's 200 meter race at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore., Saturday, July 5, 2008.    (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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(Newser) – America's best-known hopeful for the Olympic track team is still going to Beijing—but won't be defending his world championship title in the 200-meter sprint. In a stunning twist, super runner Tyson Gay suffered a leg cramp that felled him during his key event in the quarterfinals of the Olympic trials. Fellow athletes, sobered but thankful that the injury was nothing more serious, expressed both sympathy and stoicism, reports the Los Angeles Times.

"The hardest event in track and field is the US Olympic trials," said Dan Oliver, current hurdles leader. "Life is brutish. It's not fair. Things happen. It comes with the territory." The Olympic track and field team doesn't make medical exceptions, as the gymnastics and figure skating teams do.