Jamaica's Blake sets sights on top sprint ranking

Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:07pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake is pacing himself in his comeback from hamstring problems that undercut him last year but he aims to finish on top of the world by the time the season is over.

"In 2012 I started the season ranked number one," Blake told Reuters on Friday. "I want to get that ranking in 2014. That's what I'm really working on, to get back on top."

Blake will take his next step on what he hopes is a fast track back on Saturday at the IAAF Diamond League New York grand prix on Randall's Island across the East River from Manhattan.

The sixth stop of the 14-event athletics series will also feature world 800 meters record holder and Olympic champion David Rudisha of Kenya, women's Olympic pole vault champion Jenn Suhr and Ukraine's Bohdan Bondarenko, world champion in the high jump.

Blake rose to the top ranking after a breakout 2011 season in which he won the world championship 100 meters in Daegu, becoming at age 21 the youngest 100m champion in a field diminished by the disqualification of compatriot Usain Bolt for a false start.

Bolt, the double Olympic champion and world record holder in both the 100 and 200 meters, has overshadowed all sprinters since his meteoric rise in 2008, but Blake harbors no resentment of his good friend and training partner.

"We have spent a lot of time together ... and talk about a lot of stuff, like cartoons," Blake said. "We have a wonderful chemistry."

Blake, who finished second to Bolt in both the 100 and 200m at the 2012 London Olympics, said he does not feel frustrated about being overshadowed and believes his time will come.   Continued...

Jamaica's Yohan Blake poses for photographers after Jamaica set a new world record in winning the 4x200 metres relay at the IAAF World Relays Championships in Nassau, Bahamas, May 24, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar