Bolt hails 'Big Man' Yohan
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Daegu, South Korea:
"Listen, just keep your focus. A me and you a go fight it out towards the end."
Those were Usain Bolt's last words to freshly crowned 100m world champion, Yohan Blake, before both athletes stepped into their starting blocks ahead of Sunday's men's 100m final at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics inside the Daegu Stadium in South Korea.
In the end, Blake was the only one speeding across the finish line after the Olympic and defending World champion Bolt was ejected for a false start.
It was the realisation of a lifelong dream for the former St Jago High School athlete, who watched in 2008 as Bolt climbed to the top of the podium in Beijing to collect his medal. He knew then that he, too, wanted to experience that sort of success.
Blake won in 9.92s despite a
"Big Man" were the first words that Bolt directed at Blake after his victory and, as Blake shared, it has been nothing but love and support since from his 'big brother' - a man he considers a huge motivation and source of inspiration.
"We are on the same block (in the Athletes' Village) and we always hang out. He told me thanks a million times since the win and was very happy for me. Funny thing is that he always used to call me 'Junior' and he changed that to 'Big Man' now," Blake said with a laugh.
It's that brotherly environment at the Racers Track Club that has fostered Blake's development.
"It's a family right there at Racers Track Club. It's a wonderful atmosphere to be in," said Blake. "Usain, in particular, helps me a lot. In training, he always motivates me and keeps me focused. He is a wonderful support to have, a wonderful guy to be around."
Blake's commercial stock is about to hit new heights and, though still a considerably shy individual, he is beginning to come to grips with the demands and attention that go along with being a World champion.
Blake, who himself has heard the conspiracy theory that it was a twitch from him that led Bolt to false-start, rubbished that idea.
Mills, Blake's coach and the man who also conditions Bolt, says he was pleased with the maturity showed by Blake in the final.
Seegobin, who has been with Blake from the start of his career, was also very happy for his client.