Friday 23 August, 2019

Yohan Blake wins 100m at Bolt's farewell meet

Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake (centre) wins the Digicel-sponsored men's 100 metres at the JN Racers Grand Prix on Saturday.

Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake (centre) wins the Digicel-sponsored men's 100 metres at the JN Racers Grand Prix on Saturday.

Usain Bolt’s training partner Yohan Blake turned in a good performance at the JN Racers Grand Prix at the National Stadium on Saturday to win the Digicel-sponsored men’s 100 metres.

Blake, the man who is tipped to take over when eight-time Olympic gold medallist Bolt retires after the World Championship London 2017,  clocked 9.97 seconds for the victory, just below his season’s best time of 9.93 seconds.

Blake was out in a flash and although chased all the way by Akani Simbine of South Africa, he held his form to win  quite easily.

Simbine was second in 10 second flat, while Keston Blenman of Trinidad and Tobago was well beaten into third place with a 10.22 clocking.

Jamaican Kemar Bailey-Cole finished fourth in 10.23.

It was the second straight victory for Blake at the National Stadium following his season’s 9.93-second victory at the Jamaica International Invitational meet last month.

Earlier, Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad and Tobago outbattled American Jenna Prandini to win the women’s 100 metres.

Baptiste clocked 11.13 second for the victory, while Prandina crossed the line in 11.16.

The Jamaican pair of Natasha Morrison (11.26) and Sashalee Forbes (11.29) finished third and fourth.

Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad and Tobago talks to the Press following her victory in the women's 100 metres.


Later, global sprint sensation Bolt will compete for the final time on Jamaican soil  when he belatedly makes his seasonal debut .

Dubbed ‘Salute to a Legend,’ the meet is being used to celebrate the achievements of the world's fastest man, who intends to retire after the London World Championships in August.

The legendary Jamaican sprinter will go down as a sporting great regardless of whether he signs off in style on the track at the venue that hosted the 2012 Olympics.

The Jamaican enjoyed a stellar Rio Olympics in 2016 when he sensationally secured the 'treble treble' - three sprinting gold medals in three consecutive Olympics - and finished his Olympic career with nine gold medals, a 100 per cent win record in finals.

But in January 2017, Bolt saw his haul of Olympic golds diminish to eight, as the International Olympic Committee stripped Jamaica of the men's 4x100-metre relay crown they claimed in Beijing in 2008, Nesta Carter having tested positive for a banned substance when a sample was re-examined. 

The 30-year-old Bolt has four events left before retirement — Saturday's JN Racers Grand Prix in Kingston, Ostrava on June 28, Monaco on July 21 and the August 4-13 World Championships in London, United Kingston.

A stellar line-up has been compiled for Bolt's send off with Olympic champions Wayde van Niekerk, David Rudisha, Mo Farah, Christian Taylor and Allyson Felix all making the trip to pay tribute to the sport’s biggest star.

Bolt  headlines the “Salute To A Legend” 100m race, the last event on the programme, which is scheduled to begin at 10:10 pm.

Bolt will face off with three other Jamaicans - Michael Frater, Jevaughn Minzie and Nickel Ashmeade  - along with American Terrell Cotton, Ramon Gittens of Barbados, Daniel Bailey of Antigua and Jason Rogers of St Kitts & Nevis.

 Asafa Powell’s recent withdrawal with a hamstring issue has weakened the field.

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