Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
Blake's sister says 'The Beast' is focused and prepared
Somehow, some way, Arlene Blake-McPherson plans to speak with her brother, Yohan Blake, ahead of today's finals of the men's 200 metres, as she had not spoken to him since he copped the silver medal in the 100 metres on Sunday, creating a historic double for Jamaica.
"I am going to try and see if I can talk to him before (the finals). I hope that I can get through to him on Skype," Blake-McPherson told The Gleaner. "I want to urge him to continue to remain positive and, while it is natural to be nervous, don't let it get the best of him ... . I want to tell him congrats again and keep it up."
But while she hopes that Blake, dubbed 'The Beast', will turn the tables on his training partner, Usain Bolt, Blake-McPherson asserts that her expectations for the outcome are steeped in reality.
"Honestly, I think it will play out just as the 100 metres," she said.
In unquestionably the fastest 100 metres race in Olympic history, Bolt won in a championship record of 9.63, lowering his 9.69 mark set in 2008 in Beijing, China. The determined Blake, who had defeated Bolt last month during the Jamaica Olympic Trials at the National Stadium in Kingston, had to settle for second.
"Not that I would not want him to win," she said hastily. "But I think it might just happen, just like the 100 (metres)," Blake-McPherson asserted.
She said Bolt was the safest bet as this was his pet event.
"I know that it's Bolt's favourite event as well and he is working hard just the same, so I just have that feeling, but if it works that way, I am happy nonetheless."
Bolt in elite group
Bolt lowered the 200m world record in 2008 from 19.32 to 19.30 seconds. If that was not enough, he lowered this mark to 19.19 a year later in Berlin, Germany. He is one of only seven athletes to win world championships at the youth, junior, and senior levels in an athletic event.
"I am elated with Yohan's performance in the 100m. I did not expect any less from Yohan and I knew if he did not win, he would have been second, based on his preparedness," Blake-McPherson asserted. "And when I speak with him, he is always positive ... he has a positive outlook on life. Really, trust me."
The elder sister described Yohan as quite disciplined and dedicated to his cause, perhaps the reason why he will not be distracted until after he completes the 200m finals.
"I last spoke with Yohan prior to the running of the 100m final," said Blake-McPherson. She said while Yohan speaks to his parents regularly, he had not got the opportunity to speak with them since Sunday's epic final in which he ran a personal best tying 9.75 seconds.