'Crazy' Blake ahead of schedule in upstaging Bolt

Updated: 2011-08-29 11:41


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'Crazy' Blake ahead of schedule in upstaging Bolt

Yohan Blake of Jamaica celebrates winning the men's 100 metres final at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu August 28, 2011.  [Photo/Agencies]

DAEGU. South Korea - Jamaican sprinter, "wonderful cricketer" and chicken nugget lover. There is no doubt that Yohan Blake is cut from the same cloth as the man he replaced as 100 metres world champion on Sunday.

The 21-year-old also shares a great self-confidence with Usain Bolt and, although he obviously benefited from the disqualification of his training partner for a false start on Sunday, he was not prepared to put his victory purely down to luck.

"From when I came to Daegu, I can't sleep, I've been dreaming of this race, having nightmares about this race, I've been thinking about it, I've been praying about it," he said.

"I live, I eat, I sleep this 100 metres, I do everything I can and to come out victorious is just wonderful.

"We will never know what might have happened."

Three-times world champion Maurice Greene had predicted Blake could beat Bolt, saying he was "crazy" enough not to be intimidated by the Olympic champion and world record holder.

Blake said he had always been confident that he would eventually be challenging his compatriot and mentor.

"I knew I would do this one day but I did not expect this for today," he said, sitting between silver medallist Walter Dix and the winner of the bronze. Kim Collins.

"It's very sad he was not in the final, he would push you to run even faster, but we are the guys for the moment."

Blake, born in St. James, took up athletics when he was 16 and the sport gradually took over from cricket as the great love of his life.

In one major difference from Bolt, who famously hates the training involved in running 400 metres, Blake said he loved the one-lap event and might return to it one day.

He won bronze in the 100 metres at the 2006 world junior championships in Beijing and was banned for three months for a doping violation in 2009, an incident said he had now "put behind him".


Like Bolt, Blake said his ambition is to become a "legend" of track and field and use his status to help people around the world.

"I would like to be a legend," he said. "My goal is just to work my way up to the top. We've got the Olympics coming up, so I'm thinking about that from now on."

"There are some things that really drive me when I'm running, I really want to help people around the world.

"When I think about Africa and Haiti and all those things that happen, I want to become a legend in sports and really help those people.

"When I'm running, all those things are in my head, and I just focus on one thing -- victory."

Blake said he also took that same intensity to training.

"I'm a beast in training," he said. "No training is ever too big for me, I always take on training. Training's just like a joke to me when I get out there because I just have to get it done."

Apart from the many things he must have picked up from training with Bolt, Blake said he had also learned what kind of food fuels world sprint champions.

"Last night we ate a lot of chicken nuggets, before Beijing he ate at least five boxes of chicken nuggets, I guess it's all in the nuggets," he laughed.