Olympics: Yohan Blake’s bolt from the blue leaves Usain Bolt with work to do
Usain Bolt admits he will have plenty to prove at the London Olympics in five weeks after suffering a second defeat in the space of three days to his training partner, Yohan Blake.
Forty-eight hours after losing for only the second time in four years in the 100 metres at the Jamaican National Championships and Olympic trials, Bolt had to settle for second place again in the 200m at the National Stadium in Kingston.
Blake chased down his friend and rival in the home straight, usually the part when Bolt pulls clear, to claim the 200m crown in 19.80 seconds, Bolt coming home in 19.83secs. Warren Weir was third in 20.03s. The 22-year-old now leads this year’s world rankings over both distances after clocking 9.75 to win the 100m ahead of a slow-starting Bolt on Saturday.
No longer the best sprinter in his own country, the Olympic champion and world record holder suddenly looks vulnerable just 32 days before the athletics gets under way in London.
Asked if he now has something to prove, he said: “I would say definitely. I am an Olympic champion so I have to show the world I am the best. Next week I come back. It’s not like I was blown away or anything, so I know what I need to get it right.
“I was very sad with my corner, it was awful, but I guess I haven’t been doing a lot of corner work. I have been working more on my 100 metres.
“But I can’t blame it on that. I just have to get my things together and just get it done.
“He’s [Blake] proved himself as one of the greatest. For me now it’s just going back to the drawing board, working on what I need to work on and getting it done. I can never be discouraged. I’m never worried until my coach gets worried and my coach isn’t worried, so I’m happy.”
Glen Mills, who coaches Bolt and Blake at Racers Track Club, said: “He [Bolt] might be a little off at the moment, but I’m sure when the time of delivery comes around, he’ll be on top of his game.”
What is certain is the weekend’s events have ensured the 100m and 200m at the Games are a more exciting prospect now. Three days ago, Bolt’s last defeat, aside from his false start in the 100m final at last year’s World Championships in Daegu where Blake went on to take the title, was at the hands of American Tyson Gay in Stockholm in August 2010.
Blake was, until recently, regarded as a 100m specialist, but proved his credentials over the longer distance last September by running the second fastest time after Bolt, clocking 19.26 in Brussels. He is dubbed ‘The Beast’ because of his prodigious work ethic in training and knows there is plenty of hard graft still to put in. “I have to get back into training,” he said. “It’s not over. We’ve still got the Olympics to go. I was working really hard and I know Usain’s strength at this level, but he’s not 100 per cent. I need to work on keeping my form at the Olympics.”
Bolt was quick to congratulate his friend on the track. “He said ‘Congratulations, good run Yohan, you were the better man on the day’,” Blake said.
In the women’s event, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won in 22.10 to complete a sprint double of her own. Sherone Simpson was second in 22.37, while Veronica Campbell-Brown will defend the title she won in 2004 and 2008 after she ran 22.42 to finish third.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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