Yohan Blake, the 2011 World champion at 100m, is definitely back to full fitness.
Another controlled race saw him to a comfortable victory in the International 100m event at the JN Racers Grand Prix Meet on Saturday night which was dubbed ‘Salute to a Legend’.
Blake, a long-time friend and training partner of the legendary Usain Bolt, took control of the race from early to turn back the challenge of South African Akani Simbine, as he registered his second sub-10 clocking in less than a month.
Blake eased through the line to stop the clock at 9.97secs and was followed home by Simbine in 10.00secs and Keston Bledman of Trinidad and Tobago who was third in 10.22secs. Kemar Bailey-Cole, who is a training partner of Blake, took fourth in 10.23secs.
Speaking with reporters after the race, the heir apparent to Bolt’s throne said: “It has been going really good for me, training has been going great. I came out here today to just take it easy. I am feeling healthy again; just want to keep it flowing. Usain told me before I came out here — stay patient — and that’s what I did.”
He was not only happy with his performance but also his consistency over the past few weeks.
“I am happy (with the performance). As you can see I was pretty easy there, I felt good in my warm-up, I felt good coming out here, my coach has been working on my technique and it has been going fine. I am coming out here running the 9s consistently, I am pretty easy and that is what coach is happy with and that is what I will keep on doing.”
Aside from Bolt, the 26-year-old probably received the largest ovation of all the participating athletes and he said it got him ready to go.
“Oh my God, the crowd is magnificent. When they called my name, I could hear an uproar and that’s when I felt the adrenaline, my blood started pumping, so I said to myself, enjoy,” he said.
Admitting emotions ahead of the grand send-off for Usain, the man who now carries the hope of a nation in sprinting admits to having very large shoes to fill.
“Today I did a farewell video on my Instagram (page) and I cried a little because we have gone through so much (on the track) and in training, for his last year to be this year is sad. He has left a size 19 shoes to fit and it’s hard to fit, I tried to squeeze my foot in it and I am somewhere close.”
The pair has shared quite a few outstanding performances on the track together for Jamaica and he revealed which one meant the most to him.
“My favourite moment is when we took the 1-2 at the Olympics.”
At the London Olympic Games in 2012, Blake finished second to Bolt in the 100m and 200m after beating his colleague at the National Senior Championships in both events earlier in the year, causing quite a stir around the world.
The two sprinters will end their journey together where their Olympic journey as club mates began, at the World Championships in London in August.