First, Blake looked back on the phenomenal 19"26 which he ran in Brussels last year. "That was a fantastic 200 meters," the Jamaican still vividly recalls. "I was still behind in the bend, but I had agreed with my coach (Glen Mills, ed) that I would literally explode in the last straight." And I did. Resulting in this phenomenal 19"26, the second fastest 200 meters ever.
"Usain Bolt had ran the 100 meters and was being interviewed alongside the track," Blake said. "He immediatle came to me to congratulate me and was astonished: "where did that come from? " Bolt yelled. Bolt, the compatriot and training partner of Blake, is the world record holder on the 200 meters with 19''19. "Last year in that race everything went according to plan," says Blake. "Brussels has a fantastic track and without a doubt the fastest corner of the circuit."
Can Blake improve that performance now that he's nearing the end of a long season? " I have no problem in getting ready for this. I always want to surprise the audience, anywhere I am. Two weeks ago I ran 9 "69 at 100 meters in Lausanne. But I am never satisfied with myself. I always want to do better. I did not set a specific goal. I just want to go all out and and have fun."
"I have no problem in staying focused after the Olympics. There I was nervous for the final of the 100 meters. The Olympics are ever so much more important than the World championships. You can sense that in the stadium too. Sure, there was pressure, but it did not paralyse me. I am the second fastest man in the world. My ambition is to become the fastest man. I have to continue working very hard for that. Anything is possible."
The hard work also landed Blake his nickname "The Beast". His jaw motions towards the camera when he is broadcast to the audiences have become his trademark. "You should come and experience a training session. It will become clear then why I earned that label. I wear the nickname 'The Beast' with pride."
So Blake is a real workout beast. He was able to demonstrate this right after his press conference, at the Adidas Kids' Clinic in Vilvoorde (just outside Brussels and close to the Memorial's venue). The 22-year-old Jamaican shared tips and tricks with ten of Belgium's biggest talents between 14 and 16 years. "The best compliment I can get would be meeting one of those young athletes in competition in the future. Because I can rightfully claim then that I contributed my part to their breakthrough at the highest level. "
At the Adidas Kid's Clinic, Blake was handed a custom Anderlecht football shirt with his nickname 'The Beast' and 19.26 as back number.
Memorial Van Dammewww.diamondleague-brussels.com