Yohan Blake: It's going to be my last Olympics and I am going for gold

Updated: Dec 03, 2019, 07:45 IST | Ronald Chettiar | Mumbai

Aiming for an epic race, world's second fastest sprinter Yohan Blake says he will go all out to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics next year

Blake at the event. Pics/Suresh Karkera
Blake at the event. Pics/Suresh Karkera

Jamaica's Olympic medal-winning sprinter Yohan Blake will go all out to win the elusive gold at next year's Tokyo Games, which will be his last.

Blake, 29, was the youngest to win the 100m at the 2011 World Athletics Championships in South Korea when he was 21. He is yet to win an Olympic gold in that category, though.

"It's going to be my last Olympics and I am going for gold. I have won so many medals but this [Tokyo gold] will be the icing on the cake," said Blake, who has the season-best of 9.96 secs.

The sprinter is in India to promote the Road Safety World Series, a T20 tournament to be held in February.

Blake was not coy to state that he is the favourite to win the 100m gold at Tokyo. "I'm the second-fastest man in the universe, so I'm definitely the favourite. Everyone has to look up to me. There are some good guys coming [to Tokyo] and I'm looking forward to the challenge," said Blake.

"This [100m] is the greatest show on earth and everyone is looking for that blue-carpet event I think it's going to be an epic [race]," he added.

Bolt—an eight-time Olympic gold medallist—retired in 2017 after dominating the sport for almost a decade and Blake rued the fact that he was consigned to be the second-fastest man (9.69secs—a record jointly held with USA's Tyson Gay).

"If you take Bolt out of the picture, I would have been the fastest man in the world in everything. I feel like I was in a wrong era. But I'm happy with what I have achieved. To beat Bolt was tough. It was his time. It was hard competing against him," said Blake, who has two gold medals (4×100m relay in 2012 and 2016 Olympics) and two silver medals (100m and 200m 2012 at the London Olympics).

amaican sprinter Yohan Blake (left) unveils the jersey for Road Safety World T20 Series along with ex-India skipper Mohammed Azharuddin yesterdayJamaican sprinter Yohan Blake (left) unveils the jersey for Road Safety World T20 Series along with ex-India skipper Mohammed Azharuddin yesterday

Now with Bolt, who is the world record holder in 100m (9.58 secs) and in the 200m (19.19)—both set in Berlin in 2009—no more a threat, Blake said he is eyeing a clean sweep of medals in Tokyo.

"I'm taking a lot of positives from this season. My body is in great shape. I'm feeling good in training. I'm going to give everything I've got in the tank. I'm going to go all out and try to win three gold medals," said Blake, adding that he is not short of motivation and hunger.

When asked what different he could have done to beat the Jamaican legend, Blake said he had to be at his very best. "I had to work day and night to beat him. Every time you come up against him, you have to be at your best. I think in London [Olympics] I should have won, but there were things going on behind the scenes which I don't want to talk about. I'll be in trouble," Blake explained.

Blake acknowledged Bolt's influence on his career and said he has learnt a lot from the legendary sprinter. "Apart from everything, personally, I have learnt how to be at my best every day. You are not doing it for the people, you are doing it for yourself and for your family—that's what he taught me every day. He used to say, 'don't think about the money you are getting from it, think about the love for the sport and everything else will follow,'" Blake revealed.

Blake: Seb Coe is killing the sport

Yohan Blake hit out at World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe for dropping four events, including the 200m race from next year's Diamond League.

"If he [Coe] can take away the 200m and triple jump, I don't know if he is trying to build or trying to kill athletics," Blake said.

He added, "That's a stupid move he is making. He must enhance the sport, but he is killing it. It is just madness. I am talking about that because I believe 200m is very important. This is people's careers and where they make money. You cannot do that. Everybody is hating him. We have to take a stand."

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