Bolt, Blake sizzle at UTech Classics
Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Usain Bolt opened his season at Saturday’s University of Technology (UTech) Track and Field Classics inside the National Stadium, but it was his training partner, Yohan Blake, who brought the most heat on a wet evening in Kingston.
Bolt, brought the crowd which was concentrated in the grandstand to its feet when he anchored Racers’ Track Club to a meet record 37.82 in the ‘Clubs and Institutions’ men’s 4x100m relay, as former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell, who anchored the MVP team in 38.27 to second place, seemed barely bothered with trying to catch a less-than-comfortable looking Bolt.
“My legs felt good, it was nice to finish the race healthy. I would have liked to have gotten the baton a bit closer to Bolt though,” Powell lamented after the race; but there will be other opportunities in the future for the 80-time sub-10 sprinter.
Bolt, the world record holder over 100m and 200m, has been main topic in recent weeks with speculations of his health dominating public discussion following his somewhat delayed entry into competition this season.
“My coach decides when I run, he decided that this would be the meet where I started so I am here,” said Bolt. “I feel good, I am running pretty well, I am working on my starts and a few different things and everything is coming together, we have about 100 days to go before the Olympics so I am just taking my time and working on what I need to.”
Blake, who ran the second leg for the Racers team in the relay returned a couple hours later to underline his status as a main contender at this summer’s Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships and of course, the Olympic Games in London.
His start, as usual wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t long before he had the rest of the field looking at his head back clocking 9.90 in a +1.6 m/s wind to set a new meet record.
“I could have pushed some more towards the end but my coach told me to take it easy tonight,” said Blake, breathing hard but nonetheless managing a satisfied smile; his work was done for the night.
Jacques Harvey (UTech), 10.10, and Sheldon Mitchell, (SWEPT) 10.18 took the other top spots.
Olympic finalist Rosemarie Whyte, also from Racers, was impressive, winning the women’s 400m in a world-leading 51.13 ahead of MVP pair of Anneisha McLaughlin, 52.49, and Stephanie McPherson, 52.98.
MVP’s Sherone Simpson, who had the previous best time in the world, failed to finish the event after apparently running out of steam at the 350m mark.
UWI’s Hansle Parchment set a new record in the men’s 110m hurdles, winning in 13.71 while MVP’s Nesta Carter continued his fine-tuning with a 20.48 win in the men’s 200m ahead of Racers’ Daniel Bailey 20.60, and GC Foster’s Rasheed Dwyer, 20.71.