KINGSTON, Jamaica, Sporting Alert – Recently crowd Jamaican sprint double national champion Yohan Blake has been warned by his coach Glen Mills that he needs to pick up the pace if he wants to win Olympic gold in Rio, next month.
Blake, the 2012 London Olympic double silver medallist in the 100m and 200m, is finally back to full fitness, following a series of injury setbacks after those Games.
He was buzzing with confidence over the weekend, after repeating the national sprint feat he first achieved four-years-ago and feeling excited about representing Jamaica at his second Olympic Games.
However, his coach Glen Mills, the man who also drills six-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt, among others – believes the 26-year-old is some way off Olympic gold pace.
Blake posted times of 9.95 seconds to win the men’s 100m and 20.29 seconds, done in a -1.5 m/s headwind – on his way to winning the JAAA Senior Trials 2016 double in the absence of Bolt, but Mills doesn’t think those are good enough times to be successful in Brazil.
The veteran sprint coach made special note of Blake’s 200m performance, a time the sprinter himself felt he could have been faster.
“He has a long way to go,” Mills was quoted as saying in UK newspaper, Daily Mail. “He ran 20.22 – that is a long way from what is required to win in Rio.
“He said that he thought he could have run 19 seconds?
“Well, I would have loved to have seen that.
“But he is getting himself back by hard work and dedication. He is highly motivated and a hard worker.
“When you have that, it is a good combination but he isn’t at the levels he was four years ago in London. He is not as good as that yet.”
World record holder Usain Bolt was absent from the JAAA Senior Trials 2016 at the weekend, after picking up an injury.
That is what miracles are all about. God is good. Thx all for the support. It is not over, it is just the beginning pic.twitter.com/gz2LnaCPTf
— Yohan Blake (@YohanBlake) July 4, 2016
The 29-year-old reportedly flew to Germany to see his specialist doctor, as he seeks to recover from a hamstring strain.
Bolt and Blake are on schedule to run at the London Anniversary Games on July 22-23, where the former is hoping to pass a fitness test.
On Saturday, American Justin Gatlin clocked a world-leading time of 9.80 to win the men’s 100m title at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
Gatlin is only one of the many athletes who will be hunting gold in Rio.