HomeSportAthleticsGreene backs Bolt, but plumps for Blake in 100m

Greene backs Bolt, but plumps for Blake in 100m

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LONDON – Former Olympic 100m champion Maurice Greene thinks Usain Bolt will deliver at the London Games, but backed the world’s fastest man’s Jamaican compatriot Yohan Blake to win the 100m.

“I think he’s going to get along just fine,” Greene, who won the 100m at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and claimed bronze in Athens four years later, said of Bolt.

“Usain will go out there and continue to do the things he does . . . But Blake is going to win.”

Five-time world champion Greene, however, had a word of warning for Bolt as the Jamaican seeks to defend his double sprint titles won in Beijing four years ago.

“The pressure of coming back to the Oympic Games is very tough, especially when you’re trying to replicate what you did four years ago,” the American said, citing his own experience of having failed to claim a second gold in the blue riband event of track and field in Athens in 2004.

“It’s hard to come back and do it again. I’d say just focus on what’s in front of you, not the past.”

Another former track star plumping for Blake over Bolt was Edwin Moses, the 400m hurdler who went unbeaten in 122 races over more than nine years of competition.

“In track and field, you have a saying: ‘Stuff happens, you’re only as good as your last race’. I’m not sure the cards are in Bolt’s favour, so I’m going for Blake,” Moses said.

“Bolt ran some very good times last year, but he’s not at same level as years previous. He’s had to regroup, start from zero and work way back up.”
The predictions were better for Bolt’s chances in the 200m, an event in which the 25-year-old Jamaican is also world record holder.

“Bolt will have no problem winning the 200m,” said Greene.

Bolt, who also secured triple gold at the 2009 world championships in Berlin, has admitted that losing in both the 100 and the 200m at the Jamaican Olympic trials to training partner and 100m world champion Blake hasn’t been the best preparation for the Games here.

Blake has long lurked in the shadows cast by teammates Bolt and Asafa Powell – but after some stunning results, “The Beast” has suddenly roared to prominence.

Blake’s personal best of 9,75secs in the 100m makes him the fourth fastest sprinter of all time after Bolt, American Tyson Gay and Powell. His 19,26secs in the 200m is the second fastest ever after Bolt.

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