Patience is key - Blake
It has been a long road back for former world 100m champion Yohan Blake, who continues to lay the blocks for his comeback after two serious injuries in as many years derailed his career.
Blake, the second-fastest man in history in both the 100m (9.69) and 200m (19.26), suffered a hamstring injury in 2013, forcing him to miss the chance of defending his title at the World Championships that year. He suffered yet another injury a few months later, sending him back on the shelf after a brief return.
This time around, Blake, confident that he will eventually get back to his best, says he is exercising much more patience, competing at smaller meets, developing assurance, as he looks to take his conditioning up a few levels before the end of the season.
Blake, who recently posted an encouraging season best of 10.12 (the fastest time ever run on Irish soil) in testing conditions at a meet in Dublin, Ireland, will today compete at the Dutch Championships.
"I don't have any doubts in my talent. There is no doubt, I am always confident in my ability," Blake underlined. "During this comeback, I now know that I have to be patient because injuries take time to heal, and I have to do work to get the muscles strong again, so I have to be really patient with this," said Blake, who also spoke about his run a week ago.
"It was really a good experience running in Ireland. It was my first time competing there. It wasn't great weather, but I still enjoyed it, and to become the fastest man to ever run in Ireland is really good," Blake told The Gleaner.
"Running at these small meets helps me to regain my confidence and also gives me a sense of where I am going because to start back at a high level is not easy, so it's important to build myself up. This run in Ireland was worthwhile and the same for other smaller meets. This run in Ireland tells me that I am closer to where I want to be. It could have been better, but I am thankful," Blake added.
The 25-year-old competed at the National Senior Champion-ships but failed to make it to the final, missing a spot on Jamaica's team to next month's World Championships. While admitting that he was disappointed, Blake is certain his two runs there have not gone to waste.
"We are humans, but I wasn't that disappointed knowing how my training was going and everything, especially knowing I was just coming back. In my camp, the expectation wasn't that high because they knew where I was, but to get in the runs was really good for me. Overall, everything is falling into place and I just have to take my time and work towards better things," said Blake, while sharing his struggles in coming back from the injury.
"The toughest thing about coming back has been the mental part of it. Knowing that the body has healed but in the back of your mind it was to overcome that you could go out there and perform and not be afraid to run fast," Blake said.