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BERLIN - Tyson Gay goes into the world championships as the defending world champion in the 100m and 200m but despite that status he has a lot to prove after a nightmare at last year's Olympic Games.
His failure to even reach the 100m final symbolised the United States's abject displays in the sprints but in his defence he had been struggling to overcome a hamstring injury.
He would also love to restore his reputation in the same stadium where Jesse Owens ridiculed German dictator Adolf Hitler's claims of Aryan supremacy at the 1936 Olympics as he won four gold medals.
However, Gay has a bigger mountain to climb now both physically and psychologically and that is in the shape of Jamaican triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt.
Gay has laid down the markers this season as he has set the fastest times in both the 100m (9,77 sec in Rome) and 200m (19,58 in New York - the third fastest time ever), though Bolt remains the world record holder in both events.
The 27-year-old is confident he has what it takes to dent Bolt's aura of invincibility.
"You have got to run 9,59 to beat him. That's how I look at it," Gay said.
"I have the mechanics. I have the coaching. It's all there."
Gay believes that the tone for the championships for him will be set by the 100m.
"If I win the 100, that's going to set the tone," he told the Daily Telegraph last month. "If he (Bolt) beats me, then mentally I have to overcome and focus on the 200.
Getting the 100m out the way first is going to be the key."
Gay admits it is going to be tough to overcome Bolt.
"I'm pretty sure he's going to go out there and try to break two world records. Or at least he's going to run as fast as he can to win. So that's what I am going to have to do if I want to win and if running as hard as I can breaks the world record then I'm going to be the happiest man on earth."
Gay is desperate to put behind him the memories of the Olympics and he knows at least one victory in Berlin would be some form of nirvana.
"It's a shame what happened in Beijing but I can't do anything about that now, all I can do is look to the future and at least I have the chance of defending my titles and I won't give them up easily - not to anybody." - AFP