KINGSTON – Reigning 100 metres world champion Yohan Blake has sent out an early warning that he will be hard to beat when the new track and field season starts next year.
Blake, the Olympic silver medallist in the 100 and 200 metres events, after finishing behind Usain Bolt, says he will fix his flaws and be ready in time for the new season.
Addressing a news conference in his homeland, the 22-year-old Jamaican signalled his intention to replace his 26-year-old teammate as the fastest man on the planet.
“I am feeling confident more than ever and I think next year it’s going to be really hard for anybody coming up against me because I will be stronger, I will be much fitter and I will be much faster. Each year I grow day by day,” said Blake, nicknamed “The Beast” for his work ethic.
“Mentally I am good. I have a wonderful coach in Glen Mills. I am not pressured. Looking forward to next year. What I am supposed to fix I will fix it because I am starting really well now-I’m still running strong at the end of the race, around 9.69.”
During an interview on Jamaican television in late 2008, Bolt named Blake as “a potential threat” to his reign. Blake won the world championship in Daegu, South Korea, last year, after Bolt was disqualified from the final for a false start.
He also went on to beat Bolt in the 100m and 200m events, at the Olympic trials in June.
Blake, who will be 23 in December, said he did not reach his full potential during the sprint finals at the London Olympics.
“My true potential was not at the Olympics because if you look back at my races after the Olympics I was running really fast. I was really nervous. If you touch me I would have fallen. That’s how nervous I was but I covered it up pretty well,” said Blake. “It was not an easy stage, with thousands of people watching, but I performed really well. I know I was not at my best, but I learned…and I got two silver and a gold, and I am happy.”
Since his return to Jamaica, Blake has been playing cricket, his first love, and recently represented his club, Bartley’s X1 Kitson Town in a 36-run win over Correctional Services.
Blake made a run-a-ball 20, which included a straight six that cleared the venue and broke the windshield of a car in the parking lot.