MANCHESTER, England -- American sprinter Tyson Gay broke a 44-year-old record for 200 meters run on a straight track as part of his drive to challenge Usain Bolt for sprint supremacy.
Gay ran 19.41 seconds into a slight headwind Sunday on a specially constructed track, shaving 0.09 off the mark Tommie Smith set in May 1966 at San Jose, Calif.
"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."
Smith was at the Great City Games to watch Gay set the record, which isn't an official world mark because track and field's governing body only recognizes 200s run around a curve.
"Kim Collins had an excellent start and I think that motivated me to get down the street," Gay said. "It was truly amazing and it was a tough record to break."
Gay, a former 100 and 200 world champion, knows catching up to Bolt will be an even bigger task.
"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."