JAMAICA’S former world 100m champion Yohan Blake, along with rising star Ackeem Blake and women’s sprinter Briana Williams, have left the Gregory Little-led Titans Track Club.
The Jamaica Observer has been reliably told that Yohan and Ackeem will be taking orders from former national sprinter Michael Frater, who has left his position as a founder member and coach at Titans. It is said that Williams is yet to decide where she will train next season.
A source close to Frater told Observer that he is to open his professional club ahead of next season.
Frater could not be reached for an official response on the matter, while Little declined to comment on the departure of the trio.
Frater, who won a silver medal in the men’s 100m at the 2005 World Championships, teamed with Little in 2020 to form Titans Track Club.
The diminutive former sprinter, who is well-respected across the track and field world, was part of several World and Olympic record-breaking men’s 4x100m relay teams.
The 21-year-old Williams, who struggled with a series of injuries throughout the 2023 season, was a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team which won the silver medal at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary in mid-year.
She was the eighth-fastest Jamaican over 100m last season with a time of 11.01. Shericka Jackson of MVP Track Club, who is the reigning world 200m champion, was the fastest Jamaican in the world with a time of 10.65.
Veteran track and field analyst Hubert Lawrence said Williams had a good season, despite the injury setbacks.
“For Briana, we have to remember that this was a season of adjustments,” said Lawrence.
“She changed coaches, she changed training system, and she had a little setback with mid-season injury and that put her back — and I think she did really well to get a season-best time of 11.01 in the National Championships finals,” he said.
“Now what’s the truth….the Jamaican 100m teams are very difficult to make so, in terms of the future, next year is the Olympic Games and the year after is the World Championships so she just has to keep on pressing, and get an injury-free season, and get past her personal best of 10.94,” Lawrence noted.
Williams became the youngest athlete to win the women’s 100 metres and 200 metres double at the 2018 World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland, at age 16.
The 33-year-old Yohan, who joined the Titans in 2020, is coming off a season during which he failed to make the Jamaican team for this year’s World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
He was disqualified from the men’s 100m event at the National Championships in July, after he had false-started in the semi-finals.
Yohan, who is the joint second-fastest man of all times with a personal best time of 9.69, ended his 2023 campaign with a season’s best time of 10.01.
The 21-year-old Ackeem, who finished fourth in the final of the men’s 100m event at the National Championships, was a member of Jamaica’s team that won the bronze medal in the 4x100m relay in Budapest.
He ended the 2023 campaign as the third-fastest Jamaican with a personal best time of 9.89. Kishane Thompson from the MVP track club was the fastest Jamaican in 2023 with 9.85.