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Gay may be the American record holder in the 100 and the 2007 world champion, but he’s running out of time to capture that elusive Olympic medal. He’s going to be 30 on Thursday and things won’t be getting any easier down the road.

Nothing is guaranteed in four years — for Gay or Gatlin.

That’s why this Olympics was so important for both. That’s why the emotions bubbled to the surface.

“I went out there to challenge a mountain, to challenge the odds,” Gatlin said. “I had to be fearless. I went out there to run my heart out, to do what I had to do.”