'Watch out for Blake' - Why the beast could be back on the medal podium come Tokyo Featured

By Sports Desk July 17, 2021 4282













Track and field analyst and SportsMax.tv Tokyo Take host, Leighton Levy, has tipped former 100m World Champion Yohan Blake to find himself back on the medal podium, for the first time in nine years, after several positive signs heading into the Tokyo Olympics.

The Jamaican, now 31, was once billed as the heir apparent to illustrious compatriot Usain Bolt after several competitive displays against the world record holder.  In 2011, Blake took the gold medal in the 100m, at the Daegu World Championships, after Bolt was disqualified for false starting.

The sprinter followed that up with two close finishes behind Bolt in the 100m and the 200m at the London Olympics the following year.  In that time period, Blake also posted the second-fastest times ever recorded over both events with 9.69 in the 100m and 19.26 in the 200m.

His rapid upward trajectory ground sharply to a halt, however, when he suffered a major hamstring injury in 2013 and then again in 2014.  The sprinter has since struggled to rediscover anything close to his best form.

Two years later he was back on the world stage at the 2016 Rio Olympics but finished fourth in 100m final and crashed out at the semifinal stage in the 200m.  When it comes to performing at major games, it's safe to say things have not improved since.  At the 2017 World Championships in London, Blake once again finished fourth in the 100m and failed to advance to the 200m final.

Two years later at the 2019 World Championships, the first without Bolt, he placed fifth in the 100m and for a fourth straight major game did not advance to the 200m final.

Despite finishing second in both events at the National Championships a few weeks ago, however, Levy believes the athlete is in physical shape to launch an assault on the medal podium later this month.

“After he finished second at the National Trials in late June, I had a chat with Michael Frater, one of the coaches at the Titans international club, who told me Blake was in physical shape to run 9.8s,” Levy said on weekly SportsMax.tv program Tokyo Take.

A time anywhere in the region of 9.8s would have been enough to get the athlete a spot on the podium at any of the last seven major games, including in 2011 when he won the title.

Levy also pointed to Blake’s most recent performance, a 9.95 clocking at the Stars and Stripes Classic in Georgia last week.  The time was his fastest of the season.

“He ran 9.95 in Florida, his best time since 2017 when he ran 9.94 in Brussels.”

Blake’s time of 9.95 puts him 11th on the world list this season, which is led by the USA’s Trayvon Bromell who ran 9.77 last week.

The athlete himself has, however, also constantly reiterated his determination to get back on the podium.









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Last modified on Saturday, 17 July 2021 09:03
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