Yohan Blake warned Usain Bolt he will be gunning for his Olympic 200 metres title in London next year after storming to the second fastest time in history at the Memorial van Damme meeting in Brussels last night.
The 21-year-old upstaged his fellow Jamaican and training partner at the final Diamond League meeting of the season by clocking a stunning 19.26 seconds. Bolt, who minutes earlier had run the fastest 100m of the year – 9.76sec – is the only man to have bettered Blake's time with his world record of 19.19.
A wide-eyed Bolt gave Blake, who took his 100m title at the World Championships in Daegu last month, a congratulatory hug afterwards, but there must surely be an element of concern he will now have a genuine rival over both distances in London.
Blake appeared to take it easy round the bend before powering away down the home straight to take a staggering 0.52 off his personal best, his time well ahead of the 19.40 Bolt ran to win the world title in Daegu.
"Tonight I was aiming to run 19.5. I was expecting something fast but not this fast," Blake said. "The last 40 metres was crazy. I'm like a beast. I just take it out on the track.
"When I saw him [Bolt] run 19.40 at the Worlds I knew I could go fast like that. I'm looking forward to competing with him next year."
Blake was slow out of the blocks, but his time was still faster than Michael Johnson ever ran. "That's amazing for me. I'm shocked he did so well," Bolt said. "I've seem him run a couple of 200m and he's run them badly. I told him to take it easy round the bend. He ran a wild time."
Bolt had been set to take the headlines when he ran his fastest time since 2009 to win the 100m, beating Asafa Powell's previous world-leading time by 0.02. The 25-year-old, who was disqualified for false starting in the final in Daegu, was neck and neck with Nesta Carter until the 60m mark before pulling away.
There was no slowing down at the finish with Bolt dipping for the line clearly determined to beat Powell's mark and getting a meeting record in the process.
The Olympic champion and world record holder said: "It was never a doubt in my mind I would run fast in these last two races [in Zagreb when he ran 9.85 earlier this week and Brussels]. Today I was really happy with myself.
"It's [a false start] not going to happen again. I made one mistake and I won't let it happen again."Reuse content