Olympics: Yohan Blake stays on track for London with 9.85 in 100m
Yohan Blake warmed up for the London Olympics by clocking 9.85 seconds to win the 100 metres in Lucerne last night in his first competitive race since beating Usain Bolt twice at the Jamaican Olympic trials.
Blake was far from the fastest out of the blocks but powered through the field with legal wind assistance of 1.6 metres per second. Jamaica team-mate Michael Frater was second in 10.00.
“Definitely I am on the right path for the Olympics,” the 21-year-old world champion said. “This is where I am supposed to be. I want to remain unbeaten and that’s what I am doing.”
Blake chose the low-key Spitzen Leichtathletik meeting to make what is expected to be his only appearance between the trials and the London Games. He is scheduled to open his Olympic programme when the 100 heats start on 4 August.
Blake lowered the Lucerne record of 9.86 set by fellow Jamaican Nesta Carter two years ago.
“I got the meet record, which is wonderful,” Blake said. “I didn’t come here to run a quick time but it’s still a fast time. Not many guys run 9.85.”
Only three-time Olympic champion Bolt (9.76) and 2004 Olympic winner Justin Gatlin (9.80) have run faster this season.
There was still obvious room for improvement out of the blocks.
“My first part was poor but, as you can see, the last part is always ‘The Beast’ part,” said Blake, referring to the nickname given him by his training partner, Bolt.
Blake clocked a personal best and world’s season-leading time of 9.75 to beat Bolt in Kingston last month. He also ran a world-leading 19.80 to beat Bolt and win the 200.
After his brief trip to Switzerland, Blake will return to the Jamaican team training camp in Birmingham.
Blake insists his rivalry with sprint king and fellow Jamaican Bolt will remain a friendly one regardless of what happens at the Olympics.
Blake said: “Win, lose or draw we are friends, even though it is business and he wants to win and I want to win.”
Blake trains alongside Bolt under the same coach at the Racers Track Club in Kingston and he feels the arrangement has been hugely beneficial.
He said: “Every time in training I want to win but he’s always there. So I say, ‘Okay, how am I going to win on the big day?’.
“That’s why some of the time I tend to be at the front so when I get on the track I can say, ‘Okay, I beat him in training’.”
Blake also credits Bolt for assisting in his development.
He said: “He will say to me, ‘Yohan, look, you’re not doing this for the people, you’re not doing this for the fans, you’re not doing this for your family, you’re doing this for yourself.’ He can motivate me.”
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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