‘I know I can spring surprises’ - Jamaican sprint icon keen to beat Usain Bolt’s Olympic record

Yohan Blake at the London 2012 Olympic Games

ATHLETICS ‘I know I can spring surprises’ - Jamaican sprint icon keen to beat Usain Bolt’s Olympic record

Joel Omotto 22:00 - 25.10.2023

The former 100m world champion is confident of rising from his recent setbacks and performing well at the 2024 Paris Olympics in what will be a historic fourth appearance

Former world 100m champion Yohan Blake is determined to make it to the Paris 2024 Olympics despite a number of setbacks that he has endured in his career in the recent past.

The 2011 world 100m champion insists he has a lot still left and has started early preparations for the Paris Games which will be his fourth Olympics, that will see him have more appearances at the event even more than the great Usain Bolt.

Blake turns 34 in December and failed to make it into the Jamaican team for the 2023 World Championships in Budapest in August but has shrugged off any concerns of lighting striking twice ahead of the Olympics.

“Not everybody can say they have been to four Olympics. I've gone [to] three already and I'm looking forward to this one being my fourth, to be honest, I know I have a lot left with me and I know I can spring some surprises,” Blake told Sportsmax.TV.

“I am just really focusing on just getting this year to start off on a good level.”

Blake featured at the 2012 London, 2016 Rio, and 2020 Tokyo Olympics with contrasting results. He won silver in 100m and 200m in the English capital 11 years ago, coming second to compatriot Bolt in both races.

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In 2016, he progressed to the 100m final, where he finished fourth in a season's best 9.93 before finishing sixth in the 200m semi-final. He was, however, part of the Jamaican team that won gold in the 4x100m relay at the 2012 and 2016 Games.

At the 2020 Games, Blake failed to advance to the 100m final after finishing sixth in the semi-final, blaming his disappointing showing on an injury.

Blake, who is the joint second fastest man ever over 100m with a personal best of 9.69 secured in August 2012, has had a difficult 2023 when he failed to break 10 seconds.

"I've been consistent, running 10-zeros. I never got the 9s, but I am okay with it," said Blake. “I've been doing some revision on the last races, the guys have been pulling away from me from the last 40 metres, so I'm doing some work on that.”

Blake is also among athletes who have changed coaches recently in a bid to boost their performance ahead of the Olympics, breaking up with Titans International which was led by coach Gregory Little.

Former Jamaican sprinter Michael Frater is now in charge of his training and he has total confidence in his new coach.

“Michael Frater is an athlete and he's our coach and he really understands me as well,” he said.

“And, you know, I have young Akeem Blake and Briana (Williams) in the camp as well. So, we're looking to push each other and now some younger ones as well. We’re looking to push each other and as I said this is my last Olympics.”