TOP Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake will not defend his 100 metres title at the World Championship in Athletics in Moscow, Russia next August, the Sunday Observer understands.
Blake, who goes by the alias ‘the Beast’, pulled up lame before Jamaica’s National Athletic Championships, which serve as a trial for athletes hoping to represent this north Caribbean island at various international meets.
“He is definitely out of the World Championship ... he will not be part of Jamaica’s squad,” a senior athletics official told the Sunday Observer yesterday.
“Yohan will have to do surgery soon, so there is no way that he can make the team. The injury is so sensitive that even if he is a real ‘Beast’ he cannot recover from it in time for the World Champs,” the official said.
However, president of the Jamaica Administrative Athletic Association (JAAA) Dr Warren Blake said that he could not comment on the matter as he had not heard from the sprinter’s camp.
“I have no comment at this time on that issue,” Dr Blake said yesterday.
Blake, 23, no relation to the JAAA boss, won the gold medal in the 100 metres at the 2011 World Championship in the South Korean city of Daegu, after pre-race favourite, fellow Jamaican Usain Bolt, false-started in a major event for the first time in his career.
Bolt’s compulsory withdrawal paved the way for the St James-born Blake to win his first major international medal when he left the field behind, as he took the event in 9.92 seconds over American Walter Dix (10.08) and veteran Kittitian, Kim Collins (10.09).
There were early signs that Blake would not be ready for Moscow when his agent, Cubie Seegobin, issued a news release on June 18 saying: "Yohan's coach (Glen Mills) is not satisfied with the progress of his injury, and hence his level of fitness will not allow him to compete at this time. We will continue to assess the situation and re-evaluate as we approach the World Championships."
Blake did not have to run the 100 metres at the National Championship to qualify for the event at the World Championship, as he automatically got a bye as defending champion. But he would have wanted to run the 200 metres, as well, at the local event to lineup alongside Bolt, the defending champion, in Moscow.
Blake was also due to run at a meet in Edmonton, Canada, yesterday, but had to cancel.
It is believed that the undisclosed injury that he sustained at a recent local meet was worse than initially thought.
Blake has since been in contact with medical personnel in the United States who are examining the best option available to him, the official said.
Jamaica’s sprint relay squad, which romped to victory at the London Olympic Games in a record 36.84 seconds, will thus be without two of its likely star attractions — Blake, and Asafa Powell, the latter having failed to make the squad to the championship, having finished seventh in the 100 metres.
Powell, who did not compete in the sprint relay at the London Games, was thought to have been capable of getting into the top four — a passage that would have been made easier in the absence of Michael Frater, a part of the successful London 2012 quartet.