Archive for 2014

Special Promotion! Yohan Blake giving back to fans in Glasgow

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

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Yohan Blake here, three-time medallist at London 2012 and the second fastest 100m runner ever. My biggest memory of London was how good the crowd was and I’ve heard the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix is going to be more of the same.

If you want to join me, I have 100 tickets available for just £10. It’s first come first served for my fans, so be quick.
See you in Glasgow!

Yohan Blake stumbles but clinches 2nd to Nesta Carter at Adidas Grand Prix

Monday, June 16th, 2014

 Yohan Blake suffered a surprising 100m defeat at the Adidas Grand Prix, 

The Olympic 100m silver medalist, stumbled out of the blocks and clocked a slow 10.21 at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island on Saturday evening. He finished second to countryman Nesta Carter, who ran 10.09.

“Everybody saw what happened at the start,” said Blake, in a hurry to escape the media mixed zone. “There’s not much more to say.”

Blake, the top rival to Usain Bolt since 2011, owns a personal best of 9.69 from 2012. He missed most of last season with a hamstring injury.

Blake and Bolt likely will not race against each other this season. Bolt recently pulled out of meets in June and July due to a lack of training coming off a foot injury. The next Diamond League meet, in Lausanne, Switzerland, on July 3, features a 100m showdown between top Americans Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay, who did not run at the Adidas Grand Prix.

Yohan Blake will return to action today at the Adidas Grand Prix in New York.

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

The Adidas Grand Prix is sixth meeting of the 2014 I-DOUBLE-A-F Diamond League season. Blake is down to the men’s 100 metres, which begins at 6:35 this evening Jamaica time.

The field also includes to contest two other Jamaicans – Kemar Bailey Cole and Nesta Carter. With strong support from the Caribbean community here, there is no doubt that Jamaican sprinters Nesta Carter, Yohan Blake and Warren Weir will enjoy their surroundings at Icahn Stadium.

Blake would not discuss a target time for the race, saying that he, “preferred to let his running speak for itself.” He is, however, looking forward to giving the crowd something to cheer for.

“Sometimes I shut out the crowd just to focus but sometimes you can’t help but to hear it in the background,” commented Blake.

“I think the Jamaican fans will be really good for getting the adrenaline pumping in the body, which is when you tend to do great things.”

Yohan Blake Leads Jamaica to 4×100 Relay Title After World Record Performance

Monday, May 26th, 2014

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Olympic silver medallist Yohan Blake made it a perfect trip to the inaugural IAAF World Relays as he anchored Jamaica to a triumphant run in the 4×100 metres relay on Sunday. A night after leading a Jamaican team to a world record in the 4×200 relay, Blake brought his countrymen home in 37.77 seconds to top Trinidad and Tobago in the final race of the two-day programme. “After our world and Olympic gold (in the 4×100), we wanted to confirm our number one position today,” said Blake, who missed the world championships and much of last season with a hamstring injury. “It feels great getting into championship mode … I am back on track.” The Jamaicans were missing world record holder Usain Bolt, who has yet to run this year, and key relay member Michael Frater, but veterans Nesta Carter and Nickel Ashmeade and young Julian Forte had Blake in position for another winning romp.

Read more at: IBNLive

Blake and the Boys set New World Record at IAAF World Relays Championships

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

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(Reuters) – Yohan Blake and a speedy Jamaican 4×200 metres relay team did not need Usain Bolt to add to the island nation’s collection of world records on Saturday.

Blake, the world’s second fastest 200 metres runner behind Bolt, turned on the jets and anchored Jamaica to a world record one minute, 18.63 seconds at the inaugural IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas.

The sizzling performance took 0.05 seconds off a 20-year-old record held by a Carl Lewis-anchored American team in 1994.

“We knew we could come here and get this medal and world record,” said Blake, whose training partner Bolt holds both the 100 and 200m world records and Olympic titles but has not run this year.

“It feels very good enough I think that we could have gone faster,” added 100m Olympic silver medallist Blake.

Read more at: Reuters

Yohan Blake to Headline Jamaica’s Squad for IAAF World Relays

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

“KINGSTON, Jamaica — Yohan Blake and Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce headline a powerful Jamaican squad to the inaugural IAAF World Relays scheduled for The Bahamas between May 24 and 25.

However, as expected, the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt was not selected by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) for the event that also serves a qualifier to the 2015 World Championship.

Bolt has not run all season and last week he indicated in a Jamaica Observer story that his participation was dependent on his coach.

The full team will be announced after this evening’s JAAA executive meeting at 5:00pm with Jamaica set to participate in all the relays except the 4x1500m events.

In the men’s section, Jamaica will be in the 4×100, 4×200 and 4x400m while the ladies will contest the 4×100, 4x200m, 4x400m and the 4x800m at the Thomas A Robinson Stadium in Nassau.”

Read more at The Jamaica Observer.

Yohan Blake wins on the street and reveals Commonwealth Games hopes

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

“In front of nearly 10,000 people on Manchester’s main drag, Yohan Blake matched his electric pink outfit with a high-wattage run – and then gave the strongest indication yet that he will compete at this summer’sCommonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Blake left his fellow Jamaican Kemar Bailey-Cole far in his slipstream in the Great CityGames along Deansgate as he pumped and puffed to 150m victory in 14.71sec – the third-fastest 150m time in history on a straight course, behind Usain Bolt and the American Walter Dix.

Blake insisted he could have run much faster but had not been able to warm up properly. “I’m feeling in great shape but the warm-up facilities were not good,” he said. “I feel I could have got that record but I had to make sure I came away injury-free. I don’t want to use that as an excuse but I can’t warm up on asphalt because it hurts my feet.”

News that Blake plans to compete in the Commonwealth Games that will warm the souls of organisers, especially after the recent ticketing fiascothat led to long delays and problems with transactions. “I haven’t chosen my events yet,” said Blake. “I’m just waiting to talk to my manager and coach when I get back, but I will probably double up. I’ve got world and Olympic medals and it would be good to have some Commonwealth medals as well.”

Read more over at: The Guardian

Yohan Blake: Jamaican sprinter wants Yorkshire cricket chance

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake claims he has held talks with Yorkshire over a proposed move to cricket when he retires from track and field.

The 2011 world champion, 24, has a personal best of 9.69 seconds but played as a fast bowler in high school.

Yohan Blake

Blake has a bowling machine to practise at home and showed BBC Sport some of his skills

“I’ve been wanting to play for Yorkshire or in England. After running, I’ll put my mind to that,” Blake told BBC Radio 5 live.

“We have some talks with some of people and we are looking forward for it.”

Yorkshire said Blake was “welcome” to play for them, tweeting: “Let’s get that sorted; come and have a net with us.”

A club spokesman added: “At this stage, we’re flattered that Yohan has expressed an interest in being involved and playing with Yorkshire. We’re always on the lookout for fresh talent.

“Let’s get him in the nets and see what he’s made of.”

Blake plays for Kingston Cricket Club when the athletics season is over and claims he could be the world’s fastest bowler – regularly reaching speeds of 85-90mph when he is practising.

Nicknamed “the beast” for his quirky pose before races, he took silver behind compatriot Usain Bolt at London 2012.

He plans to retire from the track at 29 and switch to cricket, though he joked he is already “good enough to make England’s team”.

Surrey batsman Kevin Pietersen – recently axed by England – tweeted Blake: “There is a batting slot at number four in England side for you! I’d be happy for you to take it…#BeastTheBall”

Bolt has also talked of switching sports after hanging up his track spikes, saying he “has the skills” to play for Manchester United, while the coach of the Jamaican national football team, Winfried Schaefer, isreportedly interested in using the world’s fastest man. 

“I love cricket more than I love athletics,” said Blake during a visit to Lords in August. “I practise at home because I have a bowling machine, which I set to 90mph because I like the speed.”

Yorkshire, however, could face competition for his signature, with Australian side Sydney Sixers previously expressing an interestin his services.

“If he can do what he says he can do – and I have no reason to disbelieve him – Yohan would be a marquee player for me to sign,” said Sixers chief executive Stuart Clark.

Blake could compete at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer, although he remains undecided as to whether he will take part in the event for the first time.

He will run in the United Kingdom for the first time since London 2012 when he competes over 150m at the Great City Games in Manchester  this weekend. Full coverage on BBC One from 13:15 BST.

Yohan ‘The Beast’ Blake: ‘I’ve learned a lot from Michael Jackson’

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Athletes are often obsessives, clinging to the comfort of a repetitive routine like a warm, cosy blanket. It perhaps explains why Yohan Blake listens to Michael Jackson over and over again. Time after time. Day in, day out.

But on closer inspection, deeper reasons emerge as to why the King of Pop has had such an influence on the Jamaican sprinter who aspires to become the king of the track, and it is not just about the music.

It is about emulating the singer’s wider vision of the world: wanting to make a change, to help those less fortunate than himself; to give them a chance, to give them hope. Admittedly, Jackson’s songs and dancing aren’t bad, either.

The numbers of the Beast

Yohan Blake
  • 60m: 6.75 secs, New York 2008
  • 100m: 9.69 secs, Lausanne 2012
  • 200m: 19.26 secs, Brussels 2011
  • 400m: 46.49 secs, Kingston 2012

Three years ago Blake, now 24, became the youngest 100m world champion in history, establishing himself as a potential superstar and as Usain Bolt’s only genuine rival for double sprinting gold in London 2012.

As it turned out, Blake finished second to his friend and rival in both the 100m and 200m, but later that month went on to equal the second fastest 100m in history, 0.11 second slower than Bolt’s 9.58 world record.

Injured for almost all of last season, the former world champion is fit again and determined to fulfil his potential. And driving Blake, the man nicknamed ‘The Beast’ by Bolt because of his relentless work ethic, is the desire to, like Jackson, have an impact beyond his immediate world.

“I can moonwalk, of course,” he says with an indignant smile, though when asked to demonstrate his prowess he hides his face in his hands and laughs, pointing out that the gravel scattered on the ground would prevent him from gliding backwards.

But there is no questioning Blake’s sincerity. This is a man who listens to Jackson’s music on a daily basis, who cried upon hearing news of hisdeath in 2009 and stopped training for a week.

Yohan Blake

Blake visited teenagers at St Peter’s RC High School ahead of the Great City Games Manchester

“I can do a bit of that lean in Smooth Criminal. And I listen to all his songs. Mostly Thriller, Man in the Mirror, Dirty Diana,” he says with teenage enthusiasm, before adding, just in case there was any doubt: “I love all of them.”

But, in many ways, it is Jackson’s actions away from music that has been the real influence.

“He showed how people suffer and if you can start with the man in the mirror you can make a change,” the softly-spoken Jamaican explains.

“He taught me a lot, just by watching his videos, watching him travel around the word. I’ve learnt a lot from Michael Jackson. It’s not just the music, he helped a lot of people and that’s what I want to do.”

Blake grew up in one of his country’s toughest neighbourhoods in Montego Bay and his success has already brought considerable wealth. But he gives 5% of his earnings to charity and funds a boys’ home in Jamaica, providing education and psychological support to abused and under-privileged children.

Yohan Blake

The double Olympic silver medallist started his YB Afraid Foundation a few months after he won World Championship gold in 2011.

“He sees himself as the Michael Jackson of athletics,” says his manager, Cubie Seegobin, watching on as a group of Manchester high school students scream and cheer and giggle in the presence of his client.

And Seegobin is open-mouthed in astonishment when, responding to the demands of his young audience, Blake removes his cap, signs it and presents it to an excitable girl who correctly answered that Blake won hisworld championship gold in 2011.

“I’m staggered, he loves that cap. He’s never done that before,” whispers Seegobin from the sidelines, “and there have been plenty of requests.”

Blake on playing cricket for Yorkshire

Yohan Blake

“I’m ok you know, I can make [the] England team. I’m good in the outfield so they would probably pick me for that. I’ve been wanting to play for Yorkshire, or in England, so after running, definitely, I’ll put my mind to that. We have had some talks with some of the people and we are looking forward for it. [It’ll probably happen] when I’m 29. I’ll come off the track and field.”

The model Heidi Klum  is one of many celebrities to have received short shrift, but it is clear Blake feels a greater affinity with his current audience. “These kids are really nice so why not? It’s true, I never give them away, but I know this community is a bad community and not many kids get to gravitate to the next level.”

Blake has often said his rise to the top was made without a “gold spoon”, but he knows there is still a long way to go. His first challenge, on the streets of Manchester on Saturday,  is to better Bolt’s 150m world best of 14.35 seconds, set by the six-time Olympic champion on a rain-soaked Manchester afternoon in 2009.

“I told him in training that I was going to try 14.30. He said, ‘That’s going to take some running’. He always sets the bar high, which I really like. As a youngster you have to aim high,” says Blake.

Beating Bolt might be regarded as the definition of aiming high and Blake knows his fellow countryman is not departing the scene any time soon.

That, however, just fuels Blake’s resolve. “I believe in time,” he says. “That everybody has their time. Usain Bolt is having his time. We train together and I respect him a lot. I’ll just wait until I have my time.

“I don’t set goals, I have dreams. I’m still dreaming and when the time arrives, it arrives. Maybe this year, maybe next year, you will never know. I’m a man of surprises. I like surprises.”

You can watch Blake compete at the Great City Games Manchester on BBC One, BBC HD, and the BBC Sport website from 13:15 BST on Saturday, 17 May.

Yohan Blake to Run at Manchester’s Great CityGames on May 17th 2014

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

“Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake (150m), Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford (long jump), world indoor 60m champion Richard Kilty (100m) and world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu (200m) are just some of the athletes who will be in action at the BT Great CityGames Manchester on Saturday.

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The 2011 world 100m champion Blake will race over 150m on a temporary track on Deansgate as part of the unique street event which, as well as the IAAF-certified purpose-built track, features a pop-up athletics arena in Albert Square in the city centre.”

See more at http://www.athleticsweekly.com/featured/ones-watch-bt-great-citygames-2870/