22 Year old Yohan Blake already shocked everyone a year ago at the World Championships in Daegu, winning gold in the 100 meters while Usain Bolt was disqualified. Now, he’s beaten Bolt head on, taking first place in the Jamaican trials to the 2012 Olympic games in London, running a career best of 9.75.
The Jamaican trials, especially in the 100 meters, might as well be the Olympics finals, with Blake, Bolt and perennial second-third place finisher and former world record holder, Asafa Powell. If you look at it like that, Blake is the best sprinter in the world at the moment. There’s also the American, Justin Gatlin, winning two Diamond League races this season so far, but the notion is that come the big event in London, it’ll be 1-2-3 Jamaica.
But the most interesting thing will be seeing how Bolt overcomes what promises to be a much fiercer competition. Blake is the youngest ever to run faster than 10 second at 100 meters, beating that mark at the age of 19. The last year has shown that his World’s gold wasn’t a case of Bolt not participating. It was Blake announcing that he’s part of the big leagues now, challenging the title of the fastest man alive.
With Bolt, you always have a feeling that when he loses, it means he didn’t take it seriously enough. His opening and kicks off the blocks were never the finest in the world, but his finish this time just wasn’t enough. Powell held on to the second until the final couple of meters, when Bolt came through with a 9.86. Powell finished at 9.88, completing the trio Jamaica will send to the Olympic games for 100 meters.
Bolt felt like it was his bad start that cost him the race, along with a less than spectacular finish – I thought it was a good race but everybody kept moving in the blocks and that kind of threw me off. I think overall I executed through the first 60 metres but the last part not so good, overall it was okay. For me it is just one of those things.
Blake himself hasn’t been hitting the European tour, which is part of the plan of his coach (and Bolt’s), Glen Mills, who feels Blake is in much better shape than Bolt at the moment. Both men will now face each other in the 200 meter trials as well, which Bolt is once again the favorite to win, but Blake has run a 19.26 last year, making him the second fastest man at the distance in history.