Tyson Gay will try to break Tommie Smith’s 44-year-old world best for the 200 metres on a straight track when he competes in Manchester next month.

The Great City Games on May 16 will be the first time the American runner has raced the distance straight.

Gay will be watched by the 65-year-old Smith, whose record of 19.5 seconds was achieved on a cinder track in San Jose, Texas in 1966.

Gay says he has “been running around a bend all my life and everyone knows a straight line is always faster than running around a curve.”

Gay’s best time over 200 is 19.58 in New York in May last year. Gay says “If you are running fast on a straightaway your body may fatigue early.”

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