Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Triple Olympic medallist Yohan Blake has added his voice to the calls for greater support for local athletes.
Blake believes that Jamaica is cable of dominating the sprints for an even longer period than their American counterparts were able to, but believes the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) and the Government have to invest in the future.
"I would love for something to be put in place to help the future," Blake said yesterday while speaking at a press conference at the Spanish Court Hotel. "There is a lot of talent out there. I spend a lot of time going to different places and there are a lot of persons who can run and can make it in life."
He added: "Over the years, not many persons have got this opportunity that we have got, but I would love for the bigger heads, like the JAAA and the persons in charge of sporting development in Jamaica, to help other persons."
Blake captured silver in the 100m and 200m at the London Olympics behind Usain Bolt, with times of 9.75 seconds and 19.44 seconds, respectively, before teaming up with Bolt, Michael Frater and Nesta Carter to win gold in the 4x100m, setting a world record of 36.84 seconds.
"Jamaica can do better at sprinting; we have a lot of talent, but the support is not there," Blake said. "With the calibre of athletes that we have right now, if the JAAA and the Government do what is necessary for those young generations coming up and keep the athletes back in Jamaica, I think we will dominate until the day that we all leave this Earth," Blake declared.
Blake, who is also the reigning 100m World champion, believes that despite winning three medals at his first Olympics his full potential was not realised.
"My true potential was not shown at the Olympics, because if you look back at my races after the Olympics I was running really fast," Blake pointed out. "I was really nervous ... but I got two silver and a gold, so I am happy," he added.
Looking for four medals
Blake would welcome the opportunity to compete for four medals at the next Olympics, as though not keen on running the individual 400m he would be more than happy to form part of a 4x400m team.
"I wouldn't take up the 400m, but I would run the 4x400m if Jamaica needs me, because that's another medal and I would like a fourth medal," Blake revealed.
"I know I can do it; I know most of those guys couldn't beat me when I get that baton in my hands. I can do around 44.2," he added.
Despite his obvious talent as a sprinter and the amount of money and attention he is getting, Blake does not intend to go beyond the age of 30 in the sport. He wants time to focus on his first love, which is cricket.
"I want to finish this (athletics) as early as possible, so I can play my cricket, like somewhere around 28, 29 or 30," he stated.