Blake has Bolt's backing after reaching 100m final

Tanya Simon
April 11, 2018

Jamaica's Yohan Blake competes in the athletic's men's 100m semifinal during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on April 8, 2018.

South African sprinting duo Akani Simbine and Henrico Bruintjies stormed to gold and silver medal victories in the men's 100m final, finishing in first and second place respectively.

Blake, 28, the joint second-fastest man of all time after fellow Jamaican Bolt, who retired last summer, had jokingly been told by his former team-mate not to return home if he failed to win gold.

"I knew it was something I could do, it was just a matter of coming here and making sure I put the ideal race together", said the 24-year-old Simbine, who was fifth in the 100m final at the 2016 Rio Olympics, one spot behind Blake. I have done the work, and I am at a point where I can get it.

And while the images here aren't entirely conclusive, they are at least close enough to put a serious question mark over the world famous sprinter's head.

Considering Usain Bolt is the only person who has ever run faster times in the 100 meters, Blake is a good chance. "I couldn't recover from it".

Despite his retirement, eight-time Olympic champion Bolt will be the star attraction when he arrives in Gold Coast in an ambassador role.

Blake, who came into the final as favourite after cruising to 10.06 seconds in the semi-finals, had to struggle for the bronze medal after stumbling in the first 30m of the race.

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"I am quite happy with the performance, for a couple of years I've been working hard but I haven't been in finals like Akani", Bruintjies said.

He has featured in the 2016 Olympic and the 2017 World Championships finals, with only two fifth-placed finishes to show for it.

Earlier, bowls quartet Elma Davis‚ Esme Kruger‚ Nicolene Neal and Johanna Snyman won South Africa's second medal on the greens at the Games.

Simbine's previous best results were fifth-placed finishes at the Rio Games and the London world championships a year ago. "I was just focused on myself and making sure I get to the 50 meters as quick as I can because I know if I put that together the rest of my race will come together", said the Pretoria 24-year-old.

Elsewhere around the competition Christopher Remkes claimed the Gold for Australia in the Vault at the Gymnastics, while in the Women's Floor Exercise Alexandra Eade won Gold, and Georgia Rose-Brown won Silver in the Balance Beam. I've been feeling good and it was not to happen today. "I am just trying to be focussed and trying to concentrate on my things", he said.

Trinidad and Tobago's Michelle-Lee Ahye won the women's 100m in 11.14, ahead of Jamaicans Christania Williams in 11.21 and Gayon Evans with 11.22.

Ugandans collected gold and bronze in the women's 10,000 meters, with Stella Chesang letting the Kenyans set the pace for most of the 25-lap race before surging late to win in 31 minutes, 45.30 seconds.

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