Blake stuns Bolt to win Jamaican Olympic trials with fastest time of 2012
19:03 GMT, 30 June 2012
Usain Bolt may be the world's fastest man but he is no longer the best in Jamaica.
And if he does not sort out his start in the next five weeks, the Olympic gold medal may be beyond his grasp.
Bolt was beaten by his training
partner and rival, Yohan Blake, in the 100metres at the Jamaican Olympic
trials, the first time they have lined up together in competition since
Blake took Bolt's world title in Daegu last year.
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Bolt from the blue: Blake (left) crosses the finish line to win in Kingston
On that occasion Bolt was disqualified for a false start. But this time Blake beat him fair and square.
He was spectacularly quick off his
blocks at the National Stadium in Kingston, he was always ahead and he
won in 9.75sec, the year's fastest time. It makes him the fourth fastest
man of all time.
Bolt was so far off the pace that he
barely beat former world record holder Asafa Powell for second place,
overtaking him only in the last stride to stop the clock at 9.86sec, two
All three men are picked
automatically for the 100m in London, a race once regarded as a Bolt
coronation but now being hyped as a potentially epic battle.
World champion: Blake heads to London having run the fastest time in the world this year
Jubilant Blake said: 'It's awesome.
No pressure at all. I'm the world champion and now I'm the national
champion of Jamaica. I go into the Olympics like this.'
Blake shares coach Glenn Mills and training sessions with Bolt but he has avoided him in races this year.
Those who have paid 725 to see the Olympic 100m final are guaranteed their money's worth.
The result means that six men – three Jamaicans, two Americans and one Trinidadian – have run 9.86sec or faster this year.
'Could be the best race ever,' four-time Olympic medallist Ato Bolden tweeted.
Well beaten: Bolt congratulates Blake after the race
Third: Asafa Powell fell away after a blistering start
Bolt had problems with his starts in both semi-finals and final.
'I had trouble getting out but I kept feeling like I can't give up. I had to ignore it,' he said.
His long legs reduce the number of
strides he needs to cover 100 metres to 41 – three fewer than others –
but they take a lot of unwinding from the blocks and it is a problem he
has struggled with all summer.
Mills dismissed the setback even
though the clock is running with just five weeks to go until the first
round of heats in London.
'Bolt is a tough cookie and I think he will survive,' he said. 'We are right where we want to be going into London.'
National record: Fraser (centre) won the women's final
History tells us that, when Bolt gets it right, he is utterly devastating. He won Olympic gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at the 2008 Games in Beijing, had held the previous fastest time in the world this year after clocking 9.76 in Rome last month and still holds the world record, a jaw-dropping 9.58 set three years ago.
Dwain Chambers, like the other British sprinters in Helsinki for the European Championships, was astonished by the news from Kingston, where even fourth-placed Michael Frater clocked 9.94.
'You just have to forget about it. Those guys are on another planet,' said Chambers.
While the Jamaican trio and their American rivals Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay and Trinidadian powerhouse Keston Bledman continue to stop the clock in the high nines, Britain's best are struggling to get near 10 seconds.
British No 1 Adam Gemili has broken the tape at 10.08 this season but Chambers's 2012 best is a relatively pedestrian 10.25, set in Birmingham last week.