Yohan Blake turned back the clock and Elaine Thompson-Herah had a winning streak snapped in the Jamaica Track and Field Championships 100m finals on Friday night.
Blake won his 100m in 9.85 seconds, his best time since 2012, when he beat Usain Bolt at the Olympic Trials, took second to Bolt at the Olympics and became the second-fastest man in history at age 22.
“Keep on believing in yourself. Never doubt yourself,” said Blake, who dedicated the race to his father, who had a stroke earlier in the week. “I’ve been in disarray all week.”
Blake appeared to be the successor to Bolt, if not the man to dethrone him, until hamstring injuries derailed his career starting in 2013.
Blake is now tied for third in the world this year, trailing Americans Fred Kerley (9.76) and Trayvon Bromell (9.81).
Thompson-Herah suffered her first 100m defeat since last August, taking third in her final. Olympic bronze medalist Shericka Jackson won in 10.77, followed by Kemba Nelson (10.88) and Thompson-Herah (10.89).
Thompson-Herah said she “almost walked away” rather than run after a reported 15-minute starter’s delay before the race.
“I’m really disappointed, even though I’m grateful that I made my fourth world championships team,” she said. “When I pushed out of that blocks, I felt totally flat because of the long wait.”
The result would be more concerning had she not also finished third in both the 100m and 200m at last year’s Olympic Trials. A month later, she swept the events at the Games for the second consecutive time, becoming second-fastest in history in each.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the 2008 and 2012 Olympic 100m champion, stopped shortly after starting her semifinal, her world championships berth already assured as reigning champion from 2019.
Fraser-Pryce, a 35-year-old mom, has run a full 100m on three occasions this year and posted the world’s three fastest times of 2022 — 10.67, 10.67 and 10.70.
Fraser-Pryce and Thompson-Herah could go head-to-head for the first time this season in the 200m at the Jamaican trials. That final is Sunday.
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The Beast is back! Yohan Blake runs 9.85! Oblique Seville 9.88 and the Akeem Blake 9.93! Wind 0.0m/s. Jamaica ready!!! pic.twitter.com/AQXMNkb4w5
— Athletics Jamaica (@Athletics_JA) June 25, 2022
Sherika Jackson in 10.77! Kemba Nelson 2nd, 10.88, Elaine Thompson Herah 10.89 and Briana Williams 10.99! Those are our women. Add the Pocket Rocket and we wicked! Wind 0.9m/s#Jaaachamps pic.twitter.com/PlAgcXVZhB
— Earl H Bailey (@BaldEagleJa) June 25, 2022