Impressive Blake lays down marker for Bolt
LUCERNE, Switzerland, July 17 (Reuters) – World 100 meters champion Yohan Blake showed he was in good heart to challenge compatriot Usain Bolt for Olympic sprint dominance in London by clocking 9.85 seconds to win at a meeting in Lucerne on Tuesday.
Blake, making his first appearance since beating Olympic 100 and 200 champion Bolt over both distances at the Jamaican trials in late June and early July, burst clear in the final 30 meters to win easily on a warm and sunny evening in the Swiss city.
Jamaica’s Michael Frater was second in 10.0 with Trinidad & Tobago’s Marc Burns, given the same time, in third place.
Blake shocked training partner and world record holder Bolt with an emphatic win in the 100m at the Jamaican trials in Kingston, following up with an even more impressive performance in the 200.
The 22-year-old won the world 100 title in Daegu, South Korea, last year, a race notable for the absence of Bolt who was disqualified for a false-start.
Jamaica appear to have unearthed another sprint sensation in little-known 21-year-old Jason Young, who clocked the third fastest 200m of the year by winning in 19.86, smashing his lifetime best of 20.42 by over half a second.
Only Blake (19.80) and Bolt (19.83) have gone quicker in 2012.
There was disappointment, however, for Jamaica’s Olympic 200m champion Veronica Campbell-Brown who suffered a surprise defeat by American ChaRonda Williams.
Campbell-Brown, 30, who could only finish third in the Jamaican trials, appeared to have the race in control but faded into second as a fast-finishing Williams won in a relatively pedestrian 22.52.
“Not the result I wanted. But I am thankful that I am healthy and have the opportunity to move forward towards the Olympics,” the 2004 and 2008 Olympic champion tweeted.
American Kellie Wells, who inflicted a first defeat of the season on world 100 meters hurdles champion and Olympic favorite Sally Pearson in London on Saturday, failed to follow up after finishing third behind compatriot Ginnie Crawford.
Wells (12.79) lost momentum after hitting the second hurdle and could not recover as Crawford won in 12.61, ahead of Turkey’s European champion Nevin Yanit (12.73).
Jamaican Sheri-Ann Brooks (11.12) just pipped Trinidad’s Kelly-Ann Baptiste (11.13), the world bronze medalist, to win the 100m.