Blake’s 9.8 a part of the plan – Little
With Titans Track Club’s Ackeem Blake setting a new personal mark in the 100 metres, his head coach, Gregory Little, believes that the platform is set for him to show his potential and growth at the World Athletics Championships this year. Little’s...
With Titans Track Club’s Ackeem Blake setting a new personal mark in the 100 metres, his head coach, Gregory Little, believes that the platform is set for him to show his potential and growth at the World Athletics Championships this year.
Little’s assessment comes after Blake won the 100m at the Los Angeles Grand Prix last weekend in a personal best time of 9.89 seconds, defeating the likes of former world champion, American Christian Coleman.
Blake had got to the 9.8 barrier this season on May 21, but that 9.87 time at the Bermuda Grand Prix was a wind-assisted effort. Additionally, a fast performance at Velocity Fest 13 in April in Kingston, which seemed to have given him a 9.8 time, was made moot because it was ruled a false start.
For Little, Ackeem’s progression has been the milestone of the broader plan that he has had for himself.
“When I just met Ackeem I set out a three-year plan for him. The first year was the introduction year in 2021 when he didn’t compete at the junior trials because of a calf injury. And the second year, last year, he broke the 10-second barrier, and this year, I said I expected him to run 9.8,” Little said. “And that was part of the plan.”
From Blake’s season opener in February, he was adamant about taking the lessons that he learnt in his first World Championships appearance at Eugene in 2022 and applying them as he continues to grow.
“It was a great experience last year, and I know where I am at right now, so I am just working on going forward,” Blake said in February.
Blake will have another chance to show how far he has come as he will face Coleman again as well as his compatriot Oblique Seville at the Racers Grand Prix meet this Saturday at the National Stadium. Little, who has overseen the three-year project, believes Blake is ready to take that next step should he maintain his consistency.
“He is now in the 9.8 bracket and hopefully, Ackeem stays focused and hungry and sticks to the programme as I strongly believe he will be a force to be reckoned with at the World Championships,” Little said.
The 2023 World Athletics Championships will be held in Budapest, Hungary, August 19 to 27.