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Yohan Blake (born 26 December 1989), is a Jamaican sprinter of the 100-metre and 200-metre sprint races. He won gold at the 100 m at the 2011 World Championships as the youngest 100 m world champion ever, and a silver medal in the 2012 Olympic Games in London in the 100 m and 200 m races for the Jamaican team.

Yohan Blake
Yohan Blake Memorial Van Damme 2012.jpg
Blake at the 2012 Memorial Van Damme
Personal information
Nationality Jamaica
Born (1989-12-26) 26 December 1989 (age 28)[1][2]
St. James, Jamaica
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[1]
Weight78 kg (172 lb)
SportTrack and field
Event(s)100 m, 200 m
ClubRacers Track Club
Coached byGlen Mills
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)

Blake is the second fastest man ever in both 100 m and 200 m. Together with Tyson Gay, he is the joint second fastest man ever over 100 m with a personal best of 9.69 seconds, behind only Usain Bolt.[3] His personal best for the 200 m (19.26 seconds) is the second fastest time ever after Bolt.[4] He holds the Jamaican national junior record for the 100 metres, and was formerly the youngest sprinter to have broken the 10-second barrier (at 19 years, 196 days).[5][6][7]

He is coached by Glen Mills and his training partners are Usain Bolt and Daniel Bailey.[8]


Early lifeEdit

Blake attended St. Jago High School in Spanish Town where his first sporting love was cricket. Blake was a fast bowler, and it was only after the school Principal saw how quickly he ran to the wicket that he was urged to try sprinting.[9]



Blake set the fastest time by a Jamaican junior sprinter over 100 m with 10.11 seconds.[10] The record was set at the 2007 CARIFTA Games held in the Turks and Caicos islands where he also led his team to gold in the 4 × 100 metres relay.[11] At this occasion, he was awarded the Austin Sealy Trophy for the most outstanding athlete of the 2007 CARIFTA Games.[12][13][14]

In 2008 when Usain Bolt was asked in an interview whether there was any sprinters that could challenge him, Bolt named his training partner Blake, saying "Watch out for Yohan Blake. He works like a beast. He's there with me step for step in training." The "Beast" nickname stuck.[15]

Blake won the 100 metre "B" race at the 2009 Reebok Grand Prix.[16] His exploits at the Golden Gala in July represented a significant improvement. He proved himself to be a serious competitor at the senior level: he took third place behind Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell and improved his personal best with a 10-second barrier-breaking run of 9.96 seconds,[17] becoming the youngest athlete ever to do so.[18] He improved to 9.93 seconds shortly after, taking third place behind training partners Bolt and Daniel Bailey at the Meeting Areva.[19]

Drug banEdit

Prior to the 2009 World Championships, Blake (along with Marvin Anderson and Sheri-Ann Brooks) tested positive for the stimulant 4-methyl-2-hexanamine.[20][21] A disciplinary panel organised by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) cleared him of a doping infraction on the grounds that the drug was not on the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list. However, JADCO appealed their own panel's ruling, stating that the athlete should be disciplined as the drug was similar in structure to the banned substance tuaminoheptane.[22] As the panel would resolve the issue after the World Championships, the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association took the precaution of withdrawing Blake from the relay race.[23] The appeals tribunal decided that a ban would be appropriate, and Blake and the three other sprinters each received a three-month ban from competition.[24]

World championshipsEdit

At the 2011 World Championships, Blake comfortably made the final. Following the disqualification of compatriot Usain Bolt, Blake won the Gold medal in a time of 9.92s.[25][26] At 21 years, 245 days, Blake also became the youngest 100 metres world champion ever, surpassing Carl Lewis, who won the event at 1983 World Championships at the age of 22 years, 38 days.[27] Alongside Bolt and other Jamaican teammates in Daegu, Blake won the 4×100 m relay final and broke the world record (set by the Jamaican team at the Beijing Olympics in 2008) with a time of 37.04 seconds.[28][29]

At the 2011 IAAF Diamond League meeting in Zurich, Blake beat Asafa Powell in the 100 m with a personal best of 9.82 seconds. The following week in Brussels, Blake set a 2011 world leading time in the 200 m with a personal best of 19.26 seconds, the second fastest time of all-time of the event with an improvement of more than half of a second (0.52 s) from his previous best 19.78 s set in Monaco in 2010.[30][31]


Blake doing his signature "Beast" move at the 2012 Olympics

Blake began his 2012 season strongly, registering the first sub-10-second time of the season (9.90s) at April's UTech Classic.[32] He went on to register a 9.84 second run at the Cayman Invitational prior to the Jamaican Olympic trials, where he beat Usain Bolt over 100 metres with a time of 9.75 seconds. He also won the 200 metres with a time of 19.80s ahead of Bolt at 19.83s.

The 2012 London Olympics was the first Olympics that Blake participated in. He came in as a serious threat to Bolt's 100 m title. In the 100 m final he placed second to Bolt in a time of 9.75 seconds. He also followed Bolt home in the final of the 200 metres where he won the silver medal in a time of 19.44 seconds, the fastest non-winning time in history.[33]

In the 4×100 m final, Blake ran the third leg as the Jamaicans won gold, setting a new world record time of 36.84 seconds.

On 23 August 2012, at the Athletissima Diamond League meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, Blake ran the 100 metres in 9.69 seconds, tying him with Tyson Gay as the second fastest man in history, behind Bolt.[34]


Blake suffered a hamstring injury in April 2013. After running 20.72 seconds over 200 m in the Jamaica Nationals on June 8, thus failing to qualify for the 200 m event at the 2013 Moscow World Championships, Blake pulled out of the 100 m event of the World Championships, for which he had an automatic entry as the defending world champion.


Blake tried competing again in 2014, but placed 6th at the 200 m Lausanne Diamond League event, with a time of 20.48 seconds. He then suffered another hamstring injury and fell at the 40 metre mark during the Glasgow Diamond League 100 m race shortly after that, ending his season.


Blake decided he was ready to race again in 2015 after recovering from injuries in 2013 and 2014. He failed to advance from the Jamaica Outdoor national championship semi-final in the 100 metres, placing ninth with a time of 10.36 seconds, with the top 8 advancing to the finals. He did not participate in the 200 m trials after that.[35]


Blake made a strong comeback in 2016, running his first sub-ten since 2012: a 9.95 in the 100m at the 2016 Kingston MVP Track and Field meet. He then went on to defend both his 100m and 200m national titles in 9.92 and 20.29 respectively, in the absence of an injured Usain Bolt.

In the 2016 Summer Olympics, he smoothly progressed into the 100 m final, where he finished fourth in a season's best 9.93 seconds. Unfortunately, he failed to do as well in the 200m, finishing 6th in his semi-final and failing to advance forward. However, Blake won his second career Olympic gold running the third leg in the 4×100 m relay.


2017 proved to be a slight repeat of 2016 for Blake. Despite his teammates dropping the baton in the 4 × 100 metres at the 2017 IAAF World Relays, he was able to anchor his team to a bronze medal in the 4 × 200 metres. Later on in the season, he continued to post 100m times superior to his 2016 season. At the Jamaican National Championships, he once again completed a double by clocking 9.90 in the 100m, and 19.97 in the 200m. His 9.90 was the second fastest time that season, and his 200m was not only his first sub-20 since 2012 and massive improvement from his previous season, but also tied for the sixth fastest time of the year. After the championships, Blake shaved his signature braids.

At the 2017 World Championships in Athletics in London, Blake finished in fourth place yet again in the 100m final. This time, he clocked 9.99 seconds, just 0.04 behind Usain Bolt, who failed to win his last individual race and instead settled for bronze. Blake was one of the only four men who went under ten seconds during the race, the others being Bolt, silver medalist Christian Coleman, and gold medalist Justin Gatlin. Just as he did in Rio the previous year, Blake failed to progress into the 200m final, though he was ranked closer this time with 11th overall and a slower 20.52 to come third in his heat. After this, Blake looked forward to the Men's 4 × 100 metres relay, his last chance at a medal at the championships, and Usain Bolt's final race. However, the race went far from what was expected, with Bolt pulling up 50 metres from the finish line in what was later confirmed to be another hamstring injury. Blake helped the injured Bolt, who refused a wheelchair, to his feet. Blake left the championships with no medals, but looked forward to improving strongly in the years to come.


Blake started his 2018 season early, in preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Despite a seasonal best of 10.05 in the 100m, he was still considered as the event's favorite. Blake qualified comfortably for the 100m final with the fastest time in both the heats and the semis. However, he stumbled out of the blocks in the final, and despite his strong efforts to recover, he ultimately placed third in 10.19 seconds, behind Henricho Bruintjies and Akani Simbine of South Africa. Blake won another bronze in the Men's 4x100m relay. After the Games, Blake focused on the Jamaican National Championships, hoping win his third straight national title. However, he false started in the semi-finals, disqualifying his chances. He also opted out of the 200m. Later on in the season, Blake continued to progress in the 100m with two sub-tens.

Personal bestsEdit

Event Time (seconds) Venue Date
60 metres 6.75 Madison Square Garden, New York, United States 1 February 2008
100 metres 9.69 =#2 all time Lausanne, Switzerland 23 August 2012
200 metres 19.26 =#2 all time Brussels, Belgium 16 September 2011
400 metres 46.32 Kingston, Jamaica 23 March 2013
  • All information taken from IAAF profile[36]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing   Jamaica
2005 CARIFTA Games (U-17) Bacolet, Trinidad and Tobago 1st 100 m 11.01
1st 200 m 22.19
World Youth Championships Marrakesh, Morocco 7th 100 m 10.65 (+0.8 m/s)
3rd (h) Sprint medley relay 1:54.47
2006 CARIFTA Games (U-20) Les Abymes, Guadeloupe 1st 200 m 21.12 (−0.5 m/s)
1st 4 × 100 m relay 39.81
Central American and Caribbean
Junior Championships (U-20)
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago 1st 100 m 10.33 (+1.5 m/s)
1st 200 m 21.02 (+1.4 m/s)
1st 4 × 100 m relay 40.49
World Junior Championships Beijing, China 3rd 100 m 10.42 (−0.5 m/s)
1st 4 × 100 m relay 39.05
2007 CARIFTA Games (U-20) Providenciales, Turks and Caicos 1st 100 m 10.11 CR (+1.2 m/s)
1st 4 × 100 m relay 39.47
2008 CARIFTA Games (U-20) Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1st 100 m 10.32 (+0.1 m/s)
World Junior Championships Bydgoszcz, Poland 4th 100 m 10.51 (−0.8 m/s)
2nd 4 × 100 m relay 39.25
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 1st 100 m 9.92
1st 4 × 100 m relay 37.04 WR
2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 2nd 100 m 9.75
2nd 200 m 19.44
1st 4 × 100 m relay 36.84 WR
2014 World Relay Championships Nassau, Bahamas 1st 4x100 m relay 37.77
1st 4 × 200 m relay 1:18.63 WR
2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 4th 100 m 9.93
16th (sf) 200 m 20.37
1st 4 × 100 m relay 37.27
2017 World Relay Championships Nassau, Bahamas 4 × 100 m relay DNF
3rd 4x200 m relay 1:21.09
2017 World Championships London, United Kingdom 4th 100 m 9.99
11th (sf) 200 m 20.52
4 × 100 m relay DNF
2018 Commonwealth Games Gold Coast, Australia 3rd 100 m 10.19
3rd 4 × 100 m relay 38.35
  • National Junior Championships: 2006 (1st, 100 m & 200 m)

Other interestsEdit

Away from athletics, Blake continues to be a keen cricketer, having once held ambitions to play for the West Indies.[15] Playing for the Kingston Cricket Club in the athletics off-season and specialising as a bowler, Blake once took four wickets for ten runs.[15]

On 16 August 2012, Blake rang the bell at Lord's Cricket Ground, London to signify the start of the third Investec test match between England and South Africa. He was the first non-professional cricketer to do this.[37]

Blake is also a fan of IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and has expressed his desire to play for them[38] and also Yorkshire County Cricket Club.[39]

Blake also attended the 2014 Formula One British Grand Prix.[40]


  1. ^ a b "BBC Sport – London 2012 Olympics – Yohan Blake : Jamaica, Athletics". 13 August 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  2. ^ Yohan Blake Archived 16 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine..
  3. ^ "The 10 fastest men in Olympic 100m history: Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay, Yohan Blake, Justin Gatlin et al", "The Daily Telegraph", 15 August 2016
  4. ^ Diamond League: Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt star in Brussels BBC Sport, 16 September 2011
  5. ^ Peter Larsson All-time men's best 100m Track & Field All-time Performances; Retrieved 13 August 2009
  6. ^ Meeting Areva 2009 Athlete biographies Archived 15 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine. IAAF; Retrieved 14 August 2009
  7. ^ Levy, Leighton Blake must wait Archived 25 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Jamaica Gleaner, 20 July 2009; Retrieved 13 August 2009
  8. ^ Raynor, Kayon Agent in awe of Blake's rapid progress Archived 27 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine.. Jamaica Observer, 23 July 2009; Retrieved 13 August 2009
  9. ^ Gleeson, Michael. Bolt faces enemy from within. Sydney Morning Herald. 4 August 2012.
  10. ^ Reid, Tyrone S. Yohan Blake: Life in the fast lane Archived 17 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Jamaica Observer, 10 April 2007; Retrieved 13 August 2009
  11. ^ Finisterre, Terry 10.11 sec Jamaican junior record run by Blake at CARIFTA Games – Day One IAAF, 8 April 2007; Retrieved 14 February 2009
  12. ^ Carifta Games Magazine, Part 2 (PDF), Carifta Games 2011, archived from the original (PDF) on 25 April 2012, retrieved 12 October 2011
  13. ^ Carifta Games Magazine, Part 3 (PDF), Carifta Games 2011, archived from the original (PDF) on 25 April 2012, retrieved 12 October 2011
  14. ^ Yohan Blake rakes in more awards, 30 April 2007, retrieved 12 February 2012
  15. ^ a b c Purnell, Gareth (3 July 2012). "Meet Yohan Blake, the Beast who is driving Usain Bolt nuts – Athletics – More Sports". The Independent. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  16. ^ Reebok Grand Prix New York City, NY (USA) – Saturday, 30 May 2009 – 100 Metres Archived 2 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine. IAAF; Retrieved 1 June 2009
  17. ^ Ramsak, Bob (10 July 2009). "IAAF: Gay powers back with 9.77 in Rome – REPORT - ÅF Golden League| News |". Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  18. ^ Yohan Blake Nominee 2012 – Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year[permanent dead link] Laureus. Retrieved 21 February 2012
  19. ^ Turner, Chris Bolt beats rain again, 9.79sec into slight head wind in Paris – REPORT – ÅF Golden League IAAF, 17 July 2009; Retrieved 22 July 2009
  20. ^ Jamaican athletes fail drug tests BBC Sport, 24 July 2009; Retrieved 13 August 2009
  21. ^ Row in Jamaica over athletes cleared of doping Archived 13 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Inside the Games, 10 August 2009
  22. ^ IAAF wait for Jamaica drug ruling BBC Sport, 11 August 2009; Retrieved 13 August 2009
  23. ^ Jamaican five withdrawn by team BBC Sport, 19 August 2009; Retrieved 19 August 2009
  24. ^ Jamaicans given three-month ban BBC Sport, 14 September 2009; Retrieved 17 September 2009
  25. ^ World Athletics 2011: Bolt disqualified as Blake wins gold BBC Sport, 28 August 2011
  26. ^ Bolt sensationally disqualified as Blake wins 100m, 29 August 2011
  27. ^ Marantz, Ken With Blake, cricket's loss is track and field's gain Archived 16 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine. IAAF, 28 August 2011
  28. ^ Daegu 2011: Jamaica Shatters Relay Record as USA Fall Archived 31 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. ThisDay Live, 4 September 2011
  29. ^ Usain Bolt leads Jamaica to relay world record as GB and US clash, 4 September 2011
  30. ^ Jad Adrian Yohan Blake 200m 19.26s Video, Walter Dix 19.53s – Brussels Diamond League 2011, 17 September 2011; Retrieved 17 September 2011
  31. ^ Bolt and Blake blaze to world-leading times, 16 September 2011
  32. ^ Foster, Anthony (2012-04-15). Bolt opens with relay leg; Blake dashes 9.90 in Kingston. IAAF. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  33. ^ Panja, Tariq and Danielle Rossingh. Bolt Sprints Into Olympic Record Books With a Regal Wave Archived 13 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine.. BusinessWeek. 10 August 2012.
  34. ^ "Usain Bolt clocks 19.58 in 200 meters at Lausanne". 23 August 2012. Archived from the original on 28 August 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  35. ^ JAAA NATIONAL SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS – 6/25/2015 to 6/28/2015. Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association, National Stadium, Kingston
  36. ^ Blake, Yohan biography IAAF; Retrieved 11 July 2009
  37. ^ "Yohan Blake rings bell at Lord's | Mail Online". 16 August 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  38. ^ Salian, Dhiraj (8 August 2012) Yohan Blake wants to play for RCB Archived 15 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine.. RCB News
  39. ^ "Yohan Blake: Jamaican sprinter wants Yorkshire cricket chance | BBC Sport". 16 May 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  40. ^ Dawes, Mike. "Prince Harry, Michael Fassbender, Stuart Broad and Yohan Blake among stars at Silverstone to watch British Grand Prix". Mail Online. Retrieved 2014-07-07.

External linksEdit