Ben Blankenship of the United States winning the distance medley relay // photo Getty Images and IAAF

Ben Blankenship of the United States winning the distance medley relay // photo Getty Images and IAAF

Track and field

Hey, maybe USATF is building something big!

NASSAU, Bahamas — At a team meeting Friday night, before this second edition of the IAAF World Relays got underway, Dennis Mitchell, one of the American team coaches, urged the U.S. runners to consider that each of them was a hammer and this, these Relays, was a construction project. Use your hammer, he said. Build something big.

That they did.

Tyson Gay, left, with Mike Rodgers and Ryan Bailey after winning the men's 4x100 relay // photo Getty Images

Tyson Gay, left, with Mike Rodgers and Ryan Bailey after winning the men's 4x100 relay // photo Getty Images

Track and field

Tyson Gay and the power of forgiveness

NASSAU, Bahamas — What to make of Tyson Gay? Do you think that a mistake — an error that clearly is weighing on the man — ought to follow him around forever, ought to mark him as a cheater until the end of time, ought to drag him down and cast him out as an exile from among the others in track and field, a sport in which time has proven sanctimoniousness is altogether risky business?

Or do you believe in second chances? In the power and spirit of forgiveness? Isn’t the glory and grace of the story of the United States of America this very thing — that we all make mistakes and yet each and every one of us gets a second chance?

Usain Bolt running Saturday in the World Relays // photo Getty Images

Usain Bolt running Saturday in the World Relays // photo Getty Images

Track and field

Bolt gets crowd love, a dose of U.S. “respect”

NASSAU, Bahamas — It’s better, as the saying goes, in the Bahamas. They held the first edition of the IAAF World Relays here last year, to resounding success, such success that they resolved to do it all over again.

They needed just one more thing, really, to make the show even bigger and better, the biggest star of them all, the guy who is, more or less track and field in these first years of the 21st century, and when Usain Bolt took the baton and kicked it into gear on the blue Mondo track, you would have thought Thomas A. Robinson Stadium was going to lift off into the moonlit sky.

Usain Bolt ahead of the second edition of the World Relays // photo IAAF and Getty Images

Usain Bolt ahead of the second edition of the World Relays // photo IAAF and Getty Images

Track and field

Bolt back in the spotlight

NASSAU, Bahamas — See, this is exactly the kind of thing that track and field needs, the spotlight on a seemingly relaxed Usain Bolt on Friday in advance of the second edition of the World Relays. Better yet still, what Bolt had to say.

Asked by a British reporter about Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin, Bolt reiterated that he thought Gay’s recent doping ban was “unfair” and “sent the wrong message.” Then: “Justin Gatlin is a great competitor. He is one of those guys who talks a lot and [doesn’t] say a lot. So for me it makes the sport interesting, and I look forward to running with him this season. It’s going to be interesting. Because he has been saying quite a lot.”

Justin Gatlin (left) wins the men's 100 in Lausanne over Tyson Gay and Mike Rodgers // photo Getty Images

Justin Gatlin (left) wins the men's 100 in Lausanne over Tyson Gay and Mike Rodgers // photo Getty Images

Track and field

Not just three dopers — at least four!

Do you believe in redemption, and the power of second chances? Or was what went down Thursday in Lausanne, Switzerland, just the saddest of all possible advertisements for track and field?

Three dopers, all American, went 1-2-3 Thursday in the sport’s glamor event, the men’s 100 meters, at the Lausanne Diamond League event: Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Mike Rodgers.