Sprinter going for it in 100, 200

- Rachel Axon @RachelAxon USA TODAY Sports

Tyson Gay is hoping to claim an Olympic medal in Rio de Janeiro, and he’s setting himself up to have at least two chances.

The sprinter said Tuesday that he plans to run the 100 and 200 meters at the U.S. Olympic trials beginning Friday in Eugene, Ore. He’ll start in the 100 preliminar­ies Saturday and could advance to the Sunday final from there.

Prelims for the 200 are scheduled for July 7, with the semifinals July 8 and the final July 9.

“My goal is definitely to bring a medal home, definitely. That’s it,” Gay said. “That’s probably the only goal that I have. Stay healthy.”

Gay competing in the 200 is largely contingent upon that, but he said he has been healthy this year. He has been training with coach John Smith at UCLA for the last 15 months.

“You go through all of the stuff, you go through everything all up and down, and at the end, that was one of his better start practices (Tuesday),” Smith said. “Now it’s like, ‘ Wow, nothing hurts. Oh my God, let’s go. It’s time to run.’ ”

Gay holds the American record in the 100 (9.69 seconds, set in 2009), and he won world championsh­ip titles in both events in 2007.

He has not medaled in either race in the Olympics.

Gay injured his hamstring in the Olympic trials in 2008, failing to qualify for the U.S. team in the 200. He was not fully healthy in Beijing, and he did not advance to the 100 final. He finished fourth in London, but that result was disqualifi­ed because of his suspension for doping.

If Gay makes it to Rio, he’ll have his 34th birthday there.

“This is my last lap, for sure, in that area,” he said.

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