Bolt rival sends blunt message — 'You can take nothing for granted'

World champion Blake sets fastest time this year to leave quickest man on planet playing catch up in his bid to retain his title in London this summer

It is a serious jolt to the Lightning Bolt. Of that, there can be no doubt. A month out from the London Olympics, the untouchable, unearthly star of the 2008 Games in Beijing has been left playing catch up after being beaten in his own back yard by his own training partner.

In the 100m final at the Jamaican Olympic Trials in Kingston Bolt paid the price for showing his Achilles heel. The fastest man in history has been sluggish out of the starting blocks all summer and this time he got caught napping big time, leaving himself with too much ground to make up on Yohan Blake.

Bolt clawed his way through to second with a late surge but couldn't catch the 22-year-old stablemate who succeeded him as world champion when he false started in Daegu last summer. Blake won in 9.75sec, a lifetime best and the fastest time in the world this year, eclipsing the 9.76sec that Bolt clocked at the Diamond League meeting in Rome in May. Bolt was runner up in 9.86sec, with Asafa Powell third in 9.88sec.

The worrying thing for Bolt was the margin of defeat – 0.11sec, a not insignificant gap in sprinting terms. If he wasn't entirely sure about it beforehand, the 25-year-old Jamaican phenomenon now knows he has serious work to do before the defence of his Olympic 100m crown on 5 August.

He also has Blake – the Montego Bay boy who calls himself "The Beast" – to face in the 200m before the national trials finish in Kingston. Bolt has not lost at that distance since September 2007.

"I thought it was a good race but everybody kept moving in the blocks and that kind of threw me off," Bolt said. "I had trouble getting out, but I kept feeling like I could not give up.

"I think overall I executed through the first 60m but the last part not so good. Overall it was okay.

"For me, it is just one of those things."

Blake said: "No pressure at all... everything is good. I'm just fortunate."

He called his time "awesome" and added: "I won the World Championship, so I've got that. Now, I'm the national champion for Jamaica, so I've got that.

"Now I'm ready to go to the Olympics like this."

This was their first real race between them since Daegu last summer. Apart from Bolt's false start disqualification at that World Championships, he has lost just one 100m race since his world record spree in Beijing four years ago. That was to Tyson Gay in Stockholm in August 2010, when he was suffering from an injury that curtailed his season.

He did lose to Asafa Powell a month out from the Beijing Olympics but that was by a mere 0.01sec. Again, it came after a poor start.

Glen Mills, the veteran sprint coach who guides both Bolt and Blake at the Racers Track Club in Kingston, conceded that Blake was ahead of the game in terms of Olympic preparation. "We didn't send him to Europe and he is in far better shape than Bolt at this time," Mills said. "We are right where we want to be going into London. We just want to keep them healthy.

"We have four weeks and we will take it in our stride. We know what to do, so we'll get there. Bolt is a tough cookie and I think he will survive this."

It was only three weeks ago that Bolt walked away unharmed from a 5.15am car crash after attending a party with Powell on his return to Jamaica from the European circuit. He knows he needs to get serious if he is to deal with the threat of his burgeoning beast of a training partner.

Already second to Bolt on the world all-time list at 200m, Blake is now also the fourth fastest 100m runner in history. Only Bolt (9.58sec), Gay (9.69sec) and Powell (9.72sec) have been quicker.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Barnardo's: Corporate Audit and Inspection – Retail Intern (Leeds)

Unpaid - £4 lunch allowance plus travel to and from work: Barnardo's: Purpose ...

Recruitment Genius: Content Writer - Global Financial Services

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Receptionist

£15000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future