Bolt, Blake headline weekend track action
LONDON, CMC – The much anticipated track and field segment of the London Olympics runs off today with the first round of the women’s 100m expected to be the highlight, but with most waiting with baited breaths for the showdown between Jamaicans Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake later in the weekend.
While Olympic action started last week, many fans including IAAF President Lamine Diack, believe the showpiece will really come alive with the start of the track and field fireworks.
“For me the Games are beginning on Friday, August the third,” Diack told reporters here this week.
“We have the same number of events (47) as in Beijing. Last Olympics brought five World records, 12 Olympic records, five successful title defenders, world leading marks in eight men and 13 women events.”
In London, the Caribbean is predicted to win 16 medals and again Jamaica are expected to dominate this table with Trinidad & Tobago, Bahamas, Grenada the other teams to score.
On the men’s side, Blake and Bolt, based on form, are expected to take the top spots, though fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell cannot be ruled out, and this could see a Caribbean sweep.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Richard Thompson, who won silver last time, has not been at this best for the last two years and even with the man who beat him for the T&T title this year, Keston Bledman (9.86), the country will be hard pressed for a top three finish, especially with Americans Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin to consider.
“You know when you have fast guys running wonderful times, Usain, Tyson, me myself, Gatlin, and Asafa,” Blake said. “You know great things can be expected because those guys are really fast.
“We are not really looking at times, we are looking at the gold medal.”
Powell, who is not considered a gold medal contender by many, said: “If I don’t make the podium, I’ll be very disappointed.”