Hungry Blake vows to take over from Bolt sooner, rather than later
(Jamaica Observer) Olympic Games double sprint silver medallist Yohan Blake says his time to take over the helm as the world’s leading sprinter from current sprint king Usain Bolt is not far away and he anxiously awaits the day.
“One day I will and it will be soon because I’m hungry. I want it. So one day. I don’t put any time frame, it just gradually happen,” the athlete, nicknamed ‘The Beast’ told reporters at a special press conference at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston, yesterday, five days after his return from a season in Europe and the conclusion of the 2012 London Olympics.
Olympic Games 100m and 200m silver medallist Yohan Blake (left), and his manager/agent Cubie Seegobin at yesterday’s press conference at the Spanish Court Hotel. (Photo: Bryan Cummings)
Blake, who along with Bolt, Nesta Carter and Michael Frater clocked a world record 36.84 seconds to win gold in the men’s 4x100m in London on August 11, said he is game to race against his Racers Track Club training partner Bolt any number of times during the season.
“I will run with anybody any day. That’s just the kind of person I am, I don’t back down from anything. I never say never. I always want to give the people what they want,” Blake said.
The athlete, who claimed the 100m and 200m titles at the JAAA Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships in June, beat Bolt into second place both times.
The tables were turned in London where the double world record holder retained gold medals in both events.
Blake said after getting beaten in the trials in June, Bolt told him “we are friends, but this will never happen again”.
“I know after that win he (Bolt) was going to be more serious and everything was going to change,” he shared.
The former St Jago High School standout explained why he believes he lost in London.
“I didn’t execute my race well. When I was supposed to step away from the field, the last 40m it didn’t happen. It was just not my time. I have to just wait.”
“I think I panicked a bit, but I think I held my composure. Reaching the last 40m I think I started to tighten up a bit and I didn’t pull through. I was fast enough to hold off the Americans, but God says it’s not my time, it’s not my time. I will have to wait until the next two World Championships and Olympics to start my legacy and I think it’s going to come.”
He added that he has already begun to work on what he needs to do to improve going into next season with the 2013 IAAF World Championships to be held in Moscow, Russia.
“Mentally I’m good. I have a wonderful coach Glen Mills. I’m not pressured. Going into next year what I’m supposed to fix I fixed it because I’m starting really well now. I’m still running strong at the end of the race. I’m feeling confident more than ever. I’ll be much stronger, I’ll be much fitter. Each year I grow day by day.”
Blake told those gathered that while he believes he is heir apparent to Bolt, he is not worried about those who would also wish to take over from him some day.
“I’m not worried. Competition is always good. I train really hard and I love training. Not many people love that. It’s always good for athletes to grow. I have to just keep working hard and maintain my focus. That’s what I’m doing.”
Blake says he sees the Jamaicans continuing to dominate the sprint world for a long time to come with the right Government and social support.
“With the calibre of athletes that we have right now and take everything that is necessary for those young generation coming up with those wonderful talent.”
Blake, who claims cricket as his first love, will be playing at a game at the Spanish Town Prison Oval today. He has also expressed a desire to play Big Bash Cricket in Australia.
“I have my bowling machine and my batting machine back home so just practising and getting ready for that.”
His agent, Cubie Seegobin, in the meantime said that Blake’s sponsor Adidas is in the process of sending cricket gear for Blake to compete at a later date.