The Jamaican newspaper that reported Sunday that Yohan Blake will miss the track world championships wrote on Monday that Blake’s handlers will say “whether or not from their perspective he has any chance” of competing at worlds on Tuesday.
The initial report from the Jamaica Observer quoted an unnamed Jamaica athletics official saying, “He is definitely out of the world championship,” and that Blake would have unspecified surgery soon.
That report was quickly denied by Blake’s manager, Cubie Seegobin, who told Reuters and the Jamaica Gleaner, “There is absolutely no discussions or plans for any surgery and I don’t know where that information is coming from. The coach has not yet decided on pulling him from the World Championships.”
At the time, Seegobin did not detail Blake’s chances of competing at worlds in Moscow in August.
The Observer’s Monday report cited Seegobin saying Blake flew to Germany on Wednesday to see a doctor about a “bothersome hamstring.” It”s the same hamstring Blake reportedly tore in April. He missed two months, ran in early June but then pulled out of Jamaica’s trials later last month.
Blake, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the 100 and 200 meters, missed his chance to qualify in the 200 for the world championships, but, as reigning world champion, has a wild card into the 100 meters.
If Blake can’t make it to Moscow, Usain Bolt‘s biggest competition will be narrowed to Americans Tyson Gay (100 and 200) and Justin Gatlin (100) and Jamaican Warren Weir (200). The Jamaica 4×100-meter relay team, world champs in 2009 and 2011, would also take a hit, having already lost Asafa Powell, who did not make the worlds roster.
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Puma has introduced the “BeatBot,” a self-driving, line-following robot that runners can program to move at a specific pace around a track.
That means one could race against a robot-version of Usain Bolt‘s 100m world record of 9.58 seconds, with BeatBot’s top speed at just over 27 miles per hour.
The BeatBot can also navigate track curves, as shown in the video above.
Puma plans to roll out BeatBot to various track programs around the world over the year.
MORE: Bolt, Ashton Eaton set for showdown
Several U.S. Olympic champions highlight the Penn Relays and Drake Relays fields, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra on Saturday.
At the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, the U.S. 4x100m, 4x200m and 4x400m pools include:
Justin Gatlin: 2004 Olympic 100m champ
Tyson Gay: Olympic 100m, fourth place
Carmelita Jeter: Olympic 100m silver medalist
Jeremy Wariner: 2004 Olympic 400m champ
Sanya Richards-Ross: Olympic 400m champ
Also competing will be two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, 2008 Olympic 100m silver medalist Kerron Stewart and 2015 World 200m silver medalist Elaine Thompson for Team Jamaica.
STREAM: Penn Relays: 12:30-3 p.m. ET
Next is the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, including:
- 2008 Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt versus 2012 Olympic champion Kirani James in the 400m
- World Indoor champion Vashti Cunningham in the high jump. Cunningham, 18, is the daughter of retired NFL Pro Bowl quarterback Randall Cunningham.
- 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson versus 2013 World champion Brianna Rollins in the 100m hurdles.
STREAM: Drake Relays: 3-5 p.m. ET
MORE: Full NBC Olympic trials broadcast schedule