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Jamaicans to rule sprints for long time, says Blake

MYT 7:05:01 AM

KINGSTON (Reuters) - Americans need to get used to Jamaica's men dominating the global sprinting scene because it will not change soon, Jamaican double Olympic silver medallist Yohan Blake said on Friday.

Yohan Blake of Jamaica reacts after winning the men's 200m event at the IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting, also known as Memorial Van Damme in Brussels September 7, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Vidal
Yohan Blake of Jamaica reacts after winning the men's 200m event at the IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting, also known as Memorial Van Damme in Brussels September 7, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

U.S. men, who once ruled the sprints, have been overwhelmed by Jamaican speedsters at Olympic and world championships since triple world record holder Usain Bolt's stunning show at the 2008 Beijing Games and the trend will continue, said the 22-year-old world 100 metres champion.

"I would say until the day that we all leave the earth," the world's second fastest runner at the 100 and 200 distances told a Kingston news conference.

"Because with the calibre of athletes we have right now and given everything the athletes are doing and the JAAA (Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association) and the government.

"Taking everything into consideration and doing what is necessary for the younger generation coming up with the wonderful talent at the (boys and girls high school) championships and keeping the athletes back in Jamaica, with different training camps and all of that."

He said Jamaica's dominance has frustrated the Americans.

"We don't really have a relationship," Blake said. "We say 'hi' and 'bye', because they hated us, they totally hated us because of our exploits and because we can run and we can have fun and because of our dominance."

The small Caribbean island won the men's and women's 100 and 200 metres at the Beijing Games, with Bolt dashing to world records in both sprints, and the 4x100 metres relay.

Bolt claimed gold in the 100 and 200 again at the London Olympics with Blake taking silver in both before the two helped Jamaica to another world record in the 4x100.

Warren Weir added a bronze in the 200 for a Jamaican sweep, and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce defended her 100 title as the islanders won eight of the 12 individual sprint medals awarded in London.

Blake, who joined American Tyson Gay as the world's second fastest 100 sprinter with his run of 9.69 seconds this year, said he expected to go even faster in 2013.

"It's going to be really hard for anybody who comes up against me, because I'll be stronger and I'll be much fitter and much faster," he said.

Agent Cubie Seegobin said Blake would continue to run sparingly on the European circuit but the Jamaican sprinter seemed open to more races against anyone, including Bolt whom he raced only at the Jamaican trials and the Olympics in 2012.

"You don't want the clash to get spoilt," Blake said of Bolt, "but for me, I would run with anybody any day. That's the kind of person I am. I don't back down from nothing... I always want to give the people what they want."

(Editing by Gene Cherry)

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