Yohan Blake has upset Usain Bolt twice and is the new Jamaican national 100m and 200m champion.
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Blake – the man they call “The Beast” – got out to a characteristically fast start in the 100, and stayed ahead of the late-surging Bolt to win in 9.75 seconds. That’s the fastest time recorded in the world this year, although far behind Bolt’s world record of 9.58 seconds.
Bolt finished second in the race at 9.86, followed closely by Asafa Powell in 9.88. The top three plus Michael Frater will make up Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team, and barring total technical failure, should be a lock for the gold.
In the 200, Blake finished just 0.03 ahead of Bolt to win in 19.80, miles off his own best of 19.26 and Bolt’s 19.19 world record. But Blake’s victory in the 200 was even more surprising than his win in the 100, since Bolt considers the longer race his “job,” while the 100 to him is just a “hobby.”
But what about Bolt? Has his success since 2008 has affected his training? He seems to be out & about a lot – and maybe not on the track quite as much as he used to be. Glen Mills, who coaches both Blake and Bolt, said that Blake right now is in much better shape than Bolt. With under a month left till the Olympics, will Bolt be able to regain his form?
I’m wondering whether Bolt’s free spirit is now a little happier hanging out, tossing a few cricket balls here, digging some dance hall there – just like, years ago, kindred spirit Ronaldinho seemed just as happy in the discos of Milan as on the training ground. God knows it’s hard to keep up the focus necessary to maintain your position as World’s Fastest Man.
I think he can do it. I believe that it’s possible for Bolt to have a good time in the world and still win triple gold in London. But The Beast will make it tough.