Sprinter Yohan Blake believes that the lack of track and field competition in the country since the global COVID-19 pandemic is putting local talents at a huge disadvantage. Blake was voicing his disappointments while speaking to journalists during the opening of his YB Rehab and Wellness Centre in Kingston, on Monday.
More Needs To Be Done
Minister of Sport Olivia Grange recently stated that plans are afoot to have sports resume in a couple of weeks, following encouraging meetings with the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
However, Blake, who admits he’s “very upset,” thinks more could have been done by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) to get athletics up and running already.
“I believe they can sanction some games or something for it to go along, so I am very upset, but I guess we have to work with the guidelines,” Blake was quoted as saying in Jamaica Observer.
“But Ian Forbes and all those guys must say to the Government, ‘We have everything in place, let us run some meets’, and we do need the meets because we are struggling in Jamaica.
“Meets are going on in the United States, cricket is going on and spectators are there; we don’t have to have any spectators, just help the athletes.”
Meets Are Postponed or Canceled
Several attempts have been made by organizers to stage meetings locally, but they were postponed or canceled.
“We have a big problem in Jamaica because there are other meets going on around the world and we don’t have any meets here to prepare, and we need to get prepared and prepare soon,” Blake said.
“Even before we get to (national) trials, Champs is going to be in May and the athletes are not running. How are they going to perform to the magnitude of how they would like to perform come May?” he questioned.
Looking Race Overseas
Blake, the 2011 world 100m champion and double Olympic silver medalist from 2012 behind former training partner and world record holder Usain Bolt, revealed that he intends to journey overseas for competitions if the current situation prolongs in Jamaica.
“That is definitely on the agenda because if there is no alternative here in Jamaica we have to look elsewhere, and there are wonderful competitions going on overseas,” he noted.
Blake owns the second-fastest times in both the 100m and 200m at 9.69 seconds and 19.26 seconds.