NEW YORK — Yohan Blake must overcome a fear of injury, the coach of the Olympic 100m and 200m silver medalist said Saturday.
Blake, joint second-fastest man all time in the 100m and the only man other than Usain Bolt to break 19.30 in the 200m, is trying to come back from major hamstring injuries in 2013 and 2014.
The 25-year-old nicknamed “The Beast” reportedly competed Saturday for the second time since tumbling to the track July 11, tearing a muscle off the bone (video of the fall here).
On Saturday, Blake clocked 10.21 seconds in a 100m with a 1.2 meters/second tailwind at a small meet in Jamaica, according to TeamJA.org, which would rank tied for 13th among Jamaican men this year. Blake’s personal best, 9.69, was set two weeks after the 2012 Olympics, before the injuries.
“He has a problem to get over the fear of getting hurt again,” coach Glen Mills said earlier Saturday at the Adidas Grand Prix, where Blake was a headliner last year but did not race this year. “We just have to take our time. … I think once his confidence comes back, he’ll do well, because he’s in good physical shape.”
The previous Saturday, Blake won a 200m race in Jamaica in 21.57, which ranks outside the top 200 in the world this year.
“I wouldn’t call that running,” Mills said. “He went through the motion.”
Mills said he wasn’t sure of Blake’s plan for the Jamaican Championships in two weeks, after which the Jamaican team for the World Championships in Beijing in August will be announced.
Blake will enter the 100m at the Jamaican Championships, Mills said, which comes before the 200m.
“We’ll see how he does in the early rounds,” Mills said. “If he’s not really competing, I think then we don’t want him to go any further. We don’t want to push him. If he does really well, if he makes the team at the 100m level, we may decide not to do the 200m. We’ll do enough to lay a foundation for the Olympic year. That’s our main objective.”
Three men plus defending World champion Bolt are expected to make the Worlds team each in the 100m and 200m. The No. 3 Jamaicans, excluding Bolt, in the 100m and 200m this year clocked 10.01 in the 100m and 20.28 in the 200m.
Blake was Bolt’s biggest rival in 2011 and 2012. After Bolt false-started out of the 2011 Worlds 100m final, Blake went on to win. Blake defeated Bolt in both the 100m and 200m at the 2012 Jamaican Olympic trials before Bolt returned the favor in London.
Blake, at 25, is three years younger than Bolt and eight years younger than Justin Gatlin, the world’s fastest man in 2014 and 2015. Blake has said he wants to retire before 2020, which would make the Rio 2016 Olympics his second and final Games, should he qualify.
Also Saturday, Mills said Warren Weir, the Olympic 200m bronze medalist and World silver medalist, scratched earlier last week out of the Adidas Grand Prix 200m with Bolt due to a severe hamstring cramp in training.