Blake stuns Bolt to win 100m at J/ca Trials
KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – World champion Yohan Blake stunned World record-holder Usain Bolt in the 100 metres final at the Jamaica Olympic Trials here Friday night, clocking the fastest time in the world this year and setting the stage for an enthralling battle at the London Olympics.
The 22-year-old Blake produced a classic late surge to overhaul early race leader Asafa Powell and cross the line in a time of 9.75 seconds.
Bolt recovered from a terrible start to finish second in 9.86 seconds while Powell was third in 9.88 seconds.
Blake’s time shattered his previous personal best of 9.82 seconds made him the fourth fastest man in history behind Bolt.
“Nine-point-seven-five, it’s awesome. I won the world championship, so I’ve got that,” Blake said afterward.
“Now, I’m the national champion for Jamaica so I’ve got that. And now, I go into the Olympics like this.”
Bolt, who surrendered his World 100m title to Blake in Daegu last year following his disqualification for a false start, was one of the first to congratulate Blake.
Both athletes are training partners at Racers Track Club.
“He’s a class runner without a doubt and I have said it over the years that he is one of the best. So, for me, it’s just one of those things,” said Bolt, who previously owned the world-leading time of 9.76 at the Rome Diamond League last month.
Not for the first time this season, Bolt was out of blocks almost last as Powell in lane three rushed to the front to take command of the race after 30 metres.
While Bolt, running out of lane five, played catch-up with the field, Blake launched his mid-race acceleration out of lane seven to motor past the fading Powell and reach the line well clear of the field. Bolt performed his now typical late-race fireworks but it was all too little too late. His start will remain a worry heading in the London Olympiad especially after his semi-final on Friday night was also fell victim to a poor first 40 metres, though he recovered to win in 10.02 seconds.
In contrast, Blake finished third in his semi-final heat but clocked 9.96 seconds, trailing home winner Powell (9.92) and Nesta Carter (9.95). There were more fireworks in the corresponding women’s event as Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce stormed to a commanding victory in a world-leading time and new national record of 10.70 seconds.
The gutsy 25-year-old, who lost her World title when she finished fourth last year in Daegu, sent a stern warning to her rivals with a sizzling run to reach the line virtually unchallenged.
“I always had faith because of my training. I came out here to do my best. I did my best. It worked out. I’m going to the Olympics,” Fraser Pryce beamed.
Veronica Campbell Brown was second in a season’s best 10.82 seconds, with Kerron Stewart third in 10.94 seconds.