Blake Under No Illusions Making Olympic Team Will Be No Walkover
World 100m champion Yohan Blake is under no illusions just making the Jamaican team for the 2012 Olympic Games will be just as hard as winning the final later this summer in London.
"Yes, at the Trials, all the guys are running really fast," said Blake speaking at a teleconference for the adidas Grand Prix in New York in which he will compete on 9 June.
Blake, who in his National Trials, will line up against a stellar field including reigning and former world 100m record holders Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell, added:. "Most of them are going to be in the 100m final [at the Olympics].
It’s going to be a really difficult one because nobody’s spot is guaranteed and you have to be ready on the day. I think it’s going to be a tough one in June.
"New York is a good preparation for me going into the Jamaican Trials and into the Olympics. I love running in New York.
"The people are really nice, the wonderful Jamaican people there cheering you on. I ran back there in 2010. I ran really well. I gave away my race, but I’m coming back now."
Blake, well aware Bolt set his first world 100m record on the Icahn Track in 2008, insisted: "I just want to go to New York and have a wonderful race.
"Depending on the conditions on the day, anything can happen. I’m not going out to stress myself and say, 'Ok, Usain Bolt broke the record and I have to run just as fast'.
"I just want to go out there on the day, have fun, make sure the fans enjoy their money’s worth."
The 2011 World gold medallist in Daegu said of his rivalry with Bolt: "Usain pushed me a lot in training. He’s helped me because I have to run even faster in training to keep up with his speed.
"He helped me a lot to prepare last year for the World Championships and the Olympics this year."
Blake, asked about his race programme prior to London, revealed: "Coach Mills knows what to do because he’s one of the best coaches in the world.
"He knows he can take me off at any time, and I’ll run fast. So I don’t think I need many races. Just like last year, I didn’t run many races going into Daegu, so this year I don’t think it will be really different.
"One thing I’m trying to work on is my start and the technical part of my 100m race because most of my races technical problems are at the start, and the first 30 metres is giving me problems. So basically I’ll be working on that for the London 100m."
Blake, recalling his World Championships victory, said: "It meant a lot to me, knowing I’d been working really hard.
"For me to get a gold medal, also being the youngest World Champion ever, it’s really meant a lot to me and opened a lot of doors.
"Usain not running in the finals didn’t change anything, really. I was looking forward to running with him. We had been talking in training, we were going to lay it down there on the track.
"It was unfortunate. The false start was a big shocker."
He added: "Daegu, and my training, both really gave me a lot of belief going into this year in 2012 right now because I’ve run with all of these guys before and I know what they can do.
"But I think this year is going to be different because Asafa is coming back into the picture and I don’t think Usain will false start again.
"It’s going to be interesting. I have a good confidence level right now coming off winning the World Championships and ranking number one in the world in the 100m. I have a 250 percent confidence."
Nicknamed "the beast", he answered: "I still train. On Christmas break, Coach Mills has to call and say, you are on a break. You need to take some rest.
"That’s how I work. When you guys are sleeping at night, I’m out there working. That’s why they call me the Beast. I work twice as hard as everybody else."
(Photo - Samsung Diamond League)