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St Jago’s Blake eyes sprint double

Posted by Dresonic on March 25, 2007

WORLD Junior Championship (2006) 100-metre bronze medallist Yohan Blake of St Jago High is eyeing the Class One sprint double at this week’s, GraceKennedy/ISSA Boys’ and Girls’ Championships, which begins on Wednesday at the National Stadium.

Remaldo Rose, title holder of the Class One Boys’ 100m and 200m will only defend the 100m title due to Shin-splint injury. (Photos: Bryan Cummings)

Having clocked 10.41 seconds and 20.92secs to win the 100/200-metre double at last weekend’s Carifta Trials at Stadium East, many track and field pundits are giving Blake the favourite tag.

The soft spoken Blake, who returned 10.34secs and 21.52secs to take the Class Two double last year, is not bothered by this.

“Well the GraceKennedy/ISSA Boys’ and Girls’ Championships is a stepping stone for me to the World Championships (Osaka, Japan) level, because my coach (Danny Hawthorne) thinks that I can extend it further,” Blake told the Sunday Observer. “What I intend to do (at Champs) is take those two records, the 100- and 200-metre records as well as take gold in the 4×100 and 4×400, so I expect to achieve a lot this year,” the sprinter added.

The 100m record of 10.24 seconds was established by Tesfa Latty of St George’s College in 2003, the same year that World Junior (200m) record holder Usain Bolt of William Knibb, posted 20.25secs to set the 200m record.

Coach Hawthorne told the Sunday Observer that he’s not putting any pressure on Blake, who is in his first year at the Class One level.
“All I’m expecting from him is that he goes out and gives us his best performance, whatever comes after I’ll accept it,” Hawthorne said.

Blake’s stiffest test should come from defending champion Remaldo Rose, who captured the sprint double last year. But Hawthorne is not focusing on the clash. “Well I’m not too flustered about that (clash), what I need from my boy is for him to do what he has been doing over the years, train hard and go out there and perform in the best way that he can,” the St Jago coach reasoned.

Rose captured the sprint double at Champs 2006, running 10.45secs to win the 100m and 20.91secs to take the 200m, but his coach Jermaine Shand told the Sunday Observer that he will only be attempting the 100m this week because of a persistent Shin-splint injury.

“He has been in and out of training (this year) because of the same nagging injury in the Shin,” Shand revealed earlier this month, adding that he’ll produce a good performance once he remains healthy.

“I expect him to come out and be himself, not coming into a race and concentrate on any one man, but realise that the race consists of seven competitors.”

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