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Gay nearly dashes out of the trials

June 28, 2008 |  2:58 pm

EUGENE, Ore. -- Tyson Gay, favored to win the 100 here and expected to be a medal contender in Beijing, almost eased his way out of contention.

Running in the final preliminary heat, Gay powered out of the blocks and was comfortably ahead -- until he started easing up way too early, at about the 70-meter mark. When he realized his mistake he powered up again and barely got fourth in the heat and a place in Saturday's quarterfinals.

"I misjudged the white line," he said over his shoulder as he walked past reporters hoping to interview him, never easing up there.

Walter Dix of Florida State, who has been hampered by a hamstring problem most of this season, had the fastest preliminary time, 9.96 seconds. The wind was 1.7 meters per second, so the time was wind-legal.

--Helene Elliott