Confident Blake ready to unleash
The 2011 100m world champion, Yohan Blake, is confident that Jamaica can win the men's 4x100m at this year's IAAF World Relays despite the absence of star sprinters Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell.
The two-day championship is set to run off this evening at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in Nassau.
Blake, who has been plagued by injuries over the past two seasons, said he is fit and ready to help Jamaica take back the gold medal from the Americans, having last won the event in 2014.
"You know that when (Usain) Bolt puts down the mantle, I have to take it up, and he has been instilling that in me and so I am ready for this," Blake said.
"Too bad (about) Asafa (Powell) because we wanted him to run and to make the team a lot stronger, but we can still pull it off," he said.
Blake added: "I am going to talk to the team and ensure that we get the baton around and as long we get it around, then I know we will pull it off."
Blake will lead a largely inexperienced Jamaican quartet into battle, with Kemar Bailey-Cole, Jevaughn Minzie, Everton Clarke and Nickel Ashmeade completing the line-up.
They will face a stiff challenge from the Americans, whose team includes the vastly experienced Justin Gatlin and Mike Rodgers, along with Ronnie Baker and Leshon Collins.
However, despite the strength of their rivals, Blake, fully confident in his preparation for the championships, believes that once he gets the baton within striking distance of the Americans, the Jamaicans will come out on top in the highly anticipated clash.
"I am fit and I am ready because my coach makes sure that I am in tip-top shape for this championships and so I just want to get the baton in a good position, then it will be all over," said Blake, who has a personal best of 9.69 seconds in the 100m.
"We are not worried about anybody because on the day, we will be ready because as long as I get the baton in touching distance then we are good to go," he stated.