Athletics

'I am always getting better'

Blake happy with general progress,100m win at National Seniors Championships

BY DWAYNE RICHARDS
Observer writer

Sunday, June 23, 2019

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Yohan Blake is the Jamaican national 100m champion once again.

The 2011 World Champion sauntered to 9.96s to win the final event on day two of the Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association (JAAA)/Supreme Ventures National Athletics Championships Friday night.

With a whole lot of questions being asked about male sprinting on the island Blake, who has been seen as the heir apparent to the legendary Usain Bolt, held his hand up to remind that he is here to represent for the country that has set the sprinting world alight since the World Championships in Beijing in 2007.

After what could be described as a mishap where he lost to Zharnel Hughes at the Racers Grand Prix, the 29-year-old went back to training to put in the work required to fix the problems and that he did.

“I have to give God thanks I have been working really hard on my form. I know I could do it tonight; I have been feeling really confident. After Racers (Grand Prix) I went back to the drawing board and I had to get my start together. But I have done that, me and coach Patrick (Dawson), so I am feeling really good. I am happy I run under 10 seconds tonight (Friday).”

Blake says the win has provided a good measure of where he is and where he needs to go.

“It [has] put me where I need to be. One thing my manager, Cubie (Seegobin), told me — don't rush it, it's going to be a long year — and if you watch the end of my season I am always getting better, so I am just going to take my time.”

Having successfully punched his ticket to the World Championships in Doha, Qatar, it is now time to turn his attention to the circuit as he slowly puts things together for an extraordinarily long season this year.

“I have some Diamond League races coming up so I am just going to focus on that,” said Blake.

Blake also believes that despite not winning any titles in the last few years, he has certainly been the man for Jamaica in the sprints since the retirement of his former club mate Bolt.

“If you really check the records I have been keeping the male sprinting in the top five in the world after Usain Bolt, so I have been doing pretty well. I have been finishing on top for Jamaica just the same, making the finals,” he outlined.

He also believes that there is no real cause for alarm as the high school sprinters and the senior sprinters are set to make an impact as well.

“Oblique Seville and the other guys from St Jago and JC, they are coming through. Their coaches have to hold them together, don't overwork them.

“We still have some good guys like Tyquendo Tracey and other guys that are really doing well, so the sprints are not bad — we just have to work together and it will come through.” reasoned Blake

The 2018 national 100m champion Tracey ran a season's best 10.00s for second place on Friday night, making him the second-fastest Jamaican male over the distance so far this year.

See related stories on Pages 76 & 77


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