Yohan Blake in action at the Van Damme Memorial in Brussels (© Organisers)
Yohan Blake, the 2011 IAAF World Championships and double London 2012 Olympic Games silver medallist, had his first 200m race since early June last year, before injury ruled him out of last summer’s World Championships and he sped to a 20.49 win at the UWI Invitational in Mona, Jamaica, on Saturday (22).
"It's my second race of the season (after a rare 400m outing six weeks ago) and I am feeling good. I am working on my fitness, right now I am 60 per cent and I am really feeling good," a happy Blake told local reporters at the Usain Bolt Track.
Blake’s run came into a gentle 0.1 metres-per-second breeze.
"I have to give God thanks, as well as the coach; for me to come out here and run 20.4 is really good. I ran the curve really slow compared to how I normally run, but my coach told me to take it easy and that's what I did."
All the signs are pointing towards Blake being in contention to be part of the Jamaica contingent going to the IAAF World Relays in nearby Bahamas, the inaugural edition of this event being staged on 24-25 May.
Blake’s Racers Track Club team mate Schillonie Calvert, who ran a vital third leg in Jamaica’s sparkling 4x100m win in Moscow last summer, won the women’s 200m in 23.20 (0.1 mps), just holding off Anastasia LeRoy who was second in 23.25.
Shericka Williams, the 2008 Olympic 400m silver medallist, was third in 23.51.
In the 400m, Ristananna Tracey took the honours in 52.50 seconds. Allodin Fothergill was quickest in the men's 400m in 45.94.
The men’s field events saw some good throwing.
Raymond Brown won the men’s shot put with 20.17m, winning by 20cm from Odayne Richards, who reached 19.97m.
Fredrick Dacres, the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships discus winner, has already been showing good form in his first year in the senior ranks.
In January, he set a personal best of 64.36m and on Saturday, having turned 20 last month, he had the second best competition of his career with the 2kg implement when he launched it out to 62.05m.
Local 200m rivals Warren Weir and Jason Young, who both ran under 20 seconds for the longer sprint last year, decided to duel over 100m with Weir, the Moscow 2013 200m silver medallist winning in 10.31 to Young’s more modest 10.49, with the wind picking up slightly towards the end of the meeting and the sprinters running into a 0.7 mps breeze.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF