Sprinter Usain Bolt has told his rival Yohan Blake that there is "no chance" he will let his training partner beat him in the 200 metres.
The reigning 100 metres and 200 metres Olympic champion is aiming to become the first man to retain both titles. But Blake, 22, hopes to ruin his compatriot’s party tonight.
In June he beat Bolt, 25, in Jamaica’s Olympic trials — and the fastest man on earth was clearly riled. Despite joking with his rival throughout London 2012, Bolt has been trying to unsettle him.
Standing next to each other trackside, the younger man looked uncomfortable as Bolt told journalists: “Blake is great. I heard he’s saying a few things about the 200 metres but I’ve told him, ‘No chance’. I’m not going to let him beat me over 200 metres.”
Bolt, who celebrated his win over Blake in the 100m with three women members of Sweden’s handball team, added: “Maybe [he can win] next year or the year after. It’s my main event, that’s what I do and I’m not going to let myself down when it comes to the 200m. I’m more determined.
“I’ve said to Yohan that the 200m is going to be different because that’s my pet event. I told him he was not going to beat me again.” Blake responded simply: “We will see. If I execute my race well, we will see.” Last night the champion cruised through his semi-final in 20.18 seconds. Blake posted 20.01. But both men slowed near the end of their races because they were so far ahead of the chasing pack.
Bolt holds the world record of 19.19 seconds but there has been speculation that Blake could pose a real threat if he near his personal best of 19.26. After his 100m victory on Sunday Bolt said that if he were to win tonight he would become a “living legend”.
Blake, who won silver in the shorter sprint, gave a final warning to his countryman and referred to his nickname: “I’m feeling good, that’s why they call me The Beast. The track is fast and anything is possible. The 100m taught me a lot and it’s given me confidence.”
In the 200m last night Team GB’s Christian Malcolm, 33, ran his last individual race as an Olympic athlete, failing to qualify for the final after finishing third in his semi.