By Gary Smith, World-Track
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Experienced coach Glen Mills, the man credited for leading Usain Bolt to phenomenal heights in the sprints last year says he does not intend to force his rising star Yohan Blake to stardom at the international level.
Blake, the Jamaican National Junior record holder over the 100m, has started his season impressively – improving his personal best to 10.07 seconds and coming off a solid 10.20secs win in section two of the men’s race at the Reebok Grand Prix last Saturday.
But although the signals are buzzing with high expectations for the sprinter, who is determined to make the Jamaican team to the World Championships in Berlin later this summer, Mills says he is taking his time to groom the youngster.
"If (Blake) makes the World Championship team, it would be a bonus," Mills noted. "He is just 19 and has many World Championships ahead of him.
"We believe that the process of transition from school to professional running takes time. Our objective is not to force him.
"He is learning and I think he is doing fairly well and we are pleased with his progress to date," he added.
Blake, although eager to establish himself amongst the seniors internationally, is willing to trust his coach and wait until the time is right.
"I want to go on the European circuit and get some more experience and next year I can take it to a higher level," said Blake.
He added that he is impressed with the way things are going at the moment for him and is looking forward to running at the Jamaican Championships with the expectations of representing the nation in the Germany city in August.
"My chances are good (to make the team). I will just have to keep on doing what I have been doing throughout the season.
"I have been doing some good times with the big guys and I’m looking forward to the experience of going through the rounds to make it into the finals," he added.