Photo: Yohan Blake looks up to the heavens from bent knees after running 9.95s in his comeback 100m at the MVP Track and Field Meet in Kingston, Jamaica on Saturday.
Yohan Blake produced a scintillating 9.95 seconds ( +1.6 m/s) run in his season opening 100m at the MVP Track and Field meeting on Saturday inside the National Stadium in Kingston Jamaica, signaling a return to form after two wretched years with injuries.
He was trailed home by Sprint Tech athlete and 2014 Commonwealth champion Rasheed Dwyer and Britain’s Zahrnel Hughes, both crossing the line with identical time of 10.10 seconds for second and third respectively.
His performance reminded the crowd why the 2013 World Championship goes by the moniker “the Beast”, but that’s a name he no longer welcomes . Post race, Blake thanked those who were in his corner supporting him over the last two years as he battled his injury woes to now be a the point where he is currently.
“I don’t want to set any expectations but God is good. It has been really tough, but thank God, my friends have been there, my coach Kettle, they have been talking to me, saying Blake you’re going to get back. You just have to get rid of that name 'the Beast', because it’s holding you back. So I got rid of that name, thanks to Andrew Scott and it has been good.”
The 2011 world champion hinted that a spiritual renewal has contributed to where he is at presently, and the new approach that he has developed to training.
“First and foremost I have to give God Thanks. God has been present in my life. God has changed my life because I get back to him. Coming out here today I felt really good. I felt good from the relay. I said to myself and my friends, I am going to run nine something or the world lead.”
It was a tough road to recovery he explained, having overcome the hamstring injuries and the associated problems, with the help of his support team. And he was careful to point out that he was ready to test the tires against the road once again.
“As I said I have to give God thanks again. My coach Shaun Kettle and Jay has been working really hard and getting the leg up to scratch and right now its firing. My first race in the 100m and running like that, it’s going to be good."
His run came just moments after American Justin Gatlin scorched to 9.90 seconds (+2.3m/s) victory at the Chris Brown Invitational in the Bahamas. That time would have been the new world lead had the supporting wind been below the allowable limit, but Blake revealed had a listening ear out for Gatlin's time entering his race.
He was quick to point out that the effort of the American is of no real concern as he knows quite well that once he gets his machine sharp he will be good to go.
“Yeah as I say, one step at a time. I wanted to hear his time before I run. I guess we are pretty close. It’s not far. He has been running more than me, I am just training. I am fit and ready to go. I am not worried.”
Blake’s manager Cubie Seegobin gave some insight into the rest of his racing schedule leading up and into the 2016 national trial in June.
“On my schedule, he is to run in Germany on Saturday May 14th, then RACERS Grand Prix June 11th, and Adidas Grand Prix in Boston on June 18th.”