NEXT month’s Commonwealth Games look set to go ahead without Jamaica’s former world 100m champion Yohan Blake after reports in the Caribbean yesterday suggested the man known as “The Beast” will be giving Glasgow a miss. The anxious wait for Blake’s compatriot and athletics’ undisputed blockbuster attraction, world record holder Usain Bolt, to decide on his participation lingers on.
The Jamaica Gleaner newspaper reported yesterday that the assessment of renowned Jamaican sprint coach Glen Mills, is that Blake, who won world 100m in 2011 when Bolt was disqualified for false starting, should skip the Commonwealth Games and focus on regaining his best form after struggling with a hamstring injury.
Blake’s agent and manager Cubie Seegobin was quoted in the paper as saying: “His [Blake’s] entire team seriously considered him competing at the trials and Commonwealth Games. It was something that we were looking at for a long time but, in the end, the team decided that they would do what’s in the best interest of the athlete.”
The paper also suggested that Bolt, who has not yet competed this year, is a serious doubt, but there has yet to be any official word. Both Blake and Bolt will be absent from the Jamaican trials, but the double Olympic 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay champion, could still be included in the Jamaican team with a medical exemption.
If Bolt was to pull out it would be a blow for Glasgow organisers, who suffered the early disappointment of Sir Chris Hoy’s retirement and the withdrawal through pregnancy of Jessica Ennis-Hill.
However, in recent weeks they have been boosted by the confirmation of two other London 2012 heroes – Mo Farah and Sir Bradley Wiggins – in the England team. A host of other star names, such as Australian hurdler Sally Pearson, English diver Tom Daley and Isle of Man cyclist Mark Cavendish, will be in Glasgow.