KINGSTON, June 6 (Reuters) - Olympic gold medalist Yohan Blake was relieved after making a safe return from injury with a 200 meters win in Kingston on Saturday at a warmup for Jamaica’s national trials.
Running in his first competitive race since July 3, Blake posted a modest time of 21.57 seconds, stepping away from the local field in the second half of the race before easing off in the last 10 meters.
Blake, who owns the second fastest 200 (19.26 seconds) after world record holder and compatriot Usain Bolt (19.19), still harbors hope of getting in shape to qualify for the world championships in Beijing in August.
“I have to give God thanks I’m back on the track, I was really nervous, but my agent (Cubie Seegobin) and coach (Glen Mills) told me to just go out there and have fun,” Blake, a member of Jamaica’s victorious 4x100m relay team at the London Olympics, told Reuters.
“And I don’t feel bad as my foot is not bothering me anymore, so it’s a really good blow-out for me in my first race back.”
At his last meeting on July 3, the 2011 world champion pulled up injured, clutching his hamstring in the 100m at the Glasgow Grand Prix and underwent surgery days later in Germany.
“I felt a bit ceased-up but that’s expected for my first run. I‘m going to run some more races now that my foot is alright,” Blake added, noting he was not worried about time.
“I just wanted to get that first run in the books and although the (head) wind was a bit heavy it was alright and I’ll work from there.”
Blake was still unclear whether he would have spots in both the 100m and 200m at the world championships.
“I’m going to run one more 200m next week and going into trials, I just want to do enough to secure an individual spot in the 100m or 200m,” he said.
His coach Mills told Reuters Blake’s first run was less about the time and more about breaking back into competitive mode.
“I just wanted him to run and to see for himself that he’s in a position where he can run a race and the whole idea is for him to get his confidence back and run himself into shape,” he said.
“He needs a couple of races to gradually build himself up, because it’s going to take time for him to get back to where he was as there is no magic button, he just has to take his time and work his way back up,” added Mills, who also trains six-time Olympic gold medalist Bolt.
(This story was refiled to add dateline)
Editing by Ian Ransom