Athletics-Gay fires Bolt warning for 2010

SHANGHAI, Sept 19 Sat Sep 19, 2009 5:00am EDT

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SHANGHAI, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Sprinter Tyson Gay said on Saturday that he will challenge Jamaican rival Usain Bolt's 100 metres world record when he recovers from a groin injury.

"As long as I'm healthy and focused ... I think I'm going to look at it," the American told a news conference on Saturday ahead of the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix.

With triple Olympic and world champion Bolt missing through fatigue, former world champion Gay faces Bolt's compatriot Asafa Powell in Shanghai.

Despite a groin injury, Gay clocked the third-fastest time ever of 9.71 seconds at last month's world championships in Berlin behind Bolt's stunning world record of 9.58.

Gay insisted next year would be different.

"I will be fully healthy," he said. "Asafa will be fully healthy ... so we'll be able to put on better times and better races."

Former world record holder Powell, the bronze medallist in Berlin, was less optimistic about breaking Bolt's record but also expected a better 2010 season.

"We can't break the world record but we can definitely try to get to as close as possible," said Powell. "There's still going to be wins and losses so just more wins than losses."

(Editing by Alastair Himmer) (To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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