When Tommie Smith last set the world record in the straight 200 meter run, Walt Disney was still alive, the Beatles had yet to release Sgt. Pepper and Smith himself was still known as a great track star, not just as the guy who did the black power salute in Mexico City. For 44 years Smith's hand-timed 19.5 stood as the best ever time in the longer sprint run on a straight track. Not anymore.
American sprint star Tyson Gay lowered Smith's mark by .09 seconds this weekend on a specially constructed track at Manchester's Great City Games. His time of 19.41 included a blazing first 100 split of 9.88 and served notice that, when healthy, Gay can present a challenge to Usain Bolt. (It might not be much of a challenge, but still.)