NEW YORK: Reigning world champion Yohan Blake and 2008 Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, both of Jamaica, won 100m titles on Saturday at the Diamond League athletics meet in New York. The day also saw the triumphant return of Tyson Gay in a B-level 100 race, a romp by 800m world champion David Rudisha and another failure to reach an Olympic time standard for South African Oscar Pistorius.
Blake battled back to edge Trinidad and Tobago’s Keston Bledman at the line in 9.90 seconds, winning by .03, with American Michael Rodgers third in 9.99 and 2008 Olympic runner-up Richard Thompson fourth in 10.09. “I just wanted to keep a clean sheet going into the Olympics,” Blake said. “I feel a little disapointed. I wanted to do something better. Just one of those days.”
Last year in South Korea, Blake became the youngest world 100m champion by winning the final after world record-holder and reigning Olympic champion Usain Bolt was disqualified for a false start. Blake, aided by a 0.7m/sec tailwind, will best tested by training partner Bolt, Asafa Powell and a host of rivals at the Jamaican Olympic trials in late June and says a Jamaican 100m Olympic podium sweep is “more than possible“.“I’m excited,” Blake said. “We get to push each other in training. “It’s going to be a cracker in Jamaica in a few weeks. Being undefeated is important going into the trials.”
Fraser-Pryce, the 2009 world champion and defending Olympic champion, grabbed the lead early and won in 10.92, her best time so far this year coming just before Jamaica’s Olympic trials. “I came out here just to execute a good race. Everything went right,” said Fraser-Pryce. — AFP