BERLIN, Germany, CMC – World champions Yohan Blake and Kirani James led four young Caribbean athletes that enhanced their growing reputations with notable victories yesterday at the International Stadium Festival meet.
Jamaican Blake and Grenadian James comfortably won their pet events to continue their impressive form, along with the Trinidad & Tobago pair of Kelly-Ann Baptiste and Jehue Gordon at the IAAF World Challenge meet inside the Olympic Stadium.
Blake, the newly-minted World 100 metres champion, ran a personal best of 9.82 seconds for the second time in three days.
He also shattered the previous stadium of 9.86 secs held jointly by compatriot Asafa Powell (2006) and American sprint legend Maurice Greene (2000).
There were some very good guys in this field, so it was not easy to win,” said Blake. “It is a wonderful feeling to get the win.
“It pushed me to run faster, maybe in the next race. Life changed a bit after the World Championships. The fans are cheering loudly for me, and that is something new for me.”
Former World champion Kim Collins of St. Kitts & Nevis ran a season’s best time of 10.01 to finish runner-up ahead of T&T’s Richard Thompson (10.08).
James ended his season on a high note, taking the 400 in 45.33. It was his fourth straight victory since the first week in August, when he made his maiden professional appearance.
“I was a little bit tired because of the travelling this week,” he said. “My goal was just to run, and to put on a great show for the fans.
“I tried to control the race, and wanted to have a good finish. It worked. But the main thing was to put on a great show. I am done for this season. I have to go back to school (University of the Alabama in the United States).”
Nery Brenes of Costa Rica finished second in 45.62, and Rondell Bartholomew, another quarter-miler from Grenada, grabbed third in 45.82.