KINGSTON, Jamaica – Double Olympic silver medallist Yohan Blake says he’s “healthy again” and is looking forward to having a successful year in 2016.
Blake, who missed the major parts of last season after he struggled physically and mentally to recover from hamstring injuries that have interrupted his preparations since 2013, opened his 2016 term with a 200m at the UWI Invitational last Saturday.
The Jamaican sprint star posted a time of a 21.33-seconds to finished second behind training partner Warren Weir, who won the heat in 21.23secs, running into a very strong -4.2 m/s headwind.
“It felt pretty good. I have to give God thanks I am healthy again,” he said in the Jamaica Observer on Thursday.
“I felt a little bit rusty because I haven’t run for a while, but I felt really good.
“Me and coach Mills have been doing some really good work on the track trying to get back the form in place which is going really well. So I am just working on that,” he added.
A year ago Blake, the 2011 IAAF World Championships 100m gold medallist, was hoping to return to the spotlight on the track, but the fear of suffering another major injury kept him from training and racing the proper way.
In fact, his coach Glen Mills, who is also the driller for World record holder Usain Bolt at the Racers Track Club in Kingston, revealed that Blake was running scared and need to overcome a fear of injury if he’s to return to challenge for major titles again.
“He has a problem to get over the fear of getting hurt again,” coach Mills said at the time, citing that “we just have to take our time.”
Now, a year later, Blake is revealing that he has finally put those talked about injury fears behind him and is indeed ready to perform at maximum effort again.
“To be honest, we are human and it did (the fear of injury affected me),” he said. “But thank God I have people who have been working with me and I got over that.
“My mind is set on the goal at hand, which is the Olympics. So I am happy.”
The joint second-fastest man over 100m and second quickest in the 200m on the all-time list behind Bolt with times of 9.69 and 19.26 says he will be taking things race-by-race this season, but his ultimate gold it to “replicate” or better his performances from London 2012.
“What I really want to do is replicate what I did or do better at Rio this year. So I am just focusing on that really,” Blake revealed.
“I will take it race by race. I have some races coming up… I am not sure yet where it’s going to be, but I am working with my coach and my manager Cubie Seegobin,” he added.