The coach whose camp Yohan Blake left in 2008 to join Racers Track Club yesterday showed that he bore no hard feelings towards his former charge by expressing pleasure at Blake's silver medal in the men's 100m at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
"I've been looking at the TV from morning, waiting for the race. I know it would be hard for him to win but I'm really proud to know I was a part of Yohan's success," said Hawthorne who guided the athlete, who also goes by the moniker 'The Beast', through many successes during his St Jago High School days.
Blake had lived with Hawthorne and his family for a short time during his high school years as the athlete came from humble means.
Blake, under Hawthorne's guidance, anchored his school's track team to a number of victories at the ISSA Boys' & Girls' Athletics Championships in both the mile and sprint relays as well as the Jamaican 100m junior record (10.11 seconds), which Blake set at the Carifta Championships in the Turks and Caicos in 2007.
Blake became the youngest man to win the 100m World Championships title when he eclipsed the field, minus Usain Bolt, in Daegu, South Korea just under a year ago.
Hawthorne said he knew the athlete who beat Bolt to win both the 100m and 200m titles at the Jamaican National Senior Championships in June would be a factor, but added that once the more seasoned Bolt was at his best he would be difficult to beat.
"When they asked me I told them he would go to the Olympics and do his best, but I know he has the quality to be the champion," he said.
Hawthorne suggested that Blake would have to wait his turn before being able to take the top spot at the podium again.
"He has to wait in line. He is right behind Usain Bolt. It's just around the corner. It's pretty close," he concluded.