International Athletics

Blake sorry for missing Games

2014-07-10 18:00
Yohan Blake (AFP)

Glasgow - Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake has apologised to the Scottish public for missing the Commonwealth Games as he prepares for this weekend's Diamond League meet.

The 24-year-old, who is second fastest man in history, said that he would be gambling with his Olympic dreams if he raced at Glasgow in two weeks' time.

Blake is in Glasgow for this weekend's Diamond League meeting at Hampden Park and will compete in the men's 100m on Friday night.

But have just returned from a succession of hamstring injuries, the double Olympic silver medallist does not want to hamper his preparations for the Rio Games in 2016.

The Jamaican said: "Of course I'm disappointed to be missing out on Glasgow 2014 but it's in my best interests.

"I'm trying to be positive and there will be many more Commonwealth Games to look forward to.

"I'm sorry I'm not going to be here, the Scottish people have really been looking out for me. But they understand the level of competitive person I am.

"It was a tough decision to make but when I was talking to my manager and my coach, they both said I had to get back to the level I was at before because there is the World Championships and Olympics coming up in the next couple of years. I have to be at my best for that."

The absence of Blake -- the 2011 world champion -- and decision by compatriot Usain Bolt to only compete in the 4x100m relay has been seen as a major blow for the Glasgow Games.

Blake's manager Cubie Seegobin insisted he is not fit enough to take on the Glasgow 2014 field.

- Best interests -

"We made a decision, based on Yohan's condition, not to compete at the Commonwealth Games and that was in his best interests," said Seegobin.

"As you can tell from last week in Lausanne (where Blake could only finish sixth in the 200m), we can't tell exactly where he is coming off the injury.

"People forget that Yohan hasn't competed at this level since 2012 in Brussels and he is trying to find his way back. He's in great shape now and is not hurt or anything like that.

"But if he had gone to the Jamaican trials and not made the team, you guys would be saying he wasn't in shape. So it has taken him a little while and it is his decision. It's nothing against the Commonwealth Games. He has to do what is in his best interests."

So the Hampden crowd will have to make do with Blake's Diamond League, although his fitness issues may hamper his attempt to smash Linford Christie's 1993 record of 10.06 seconds for a 100m run on a Scottish track.

Fans will still be able to catch a glimpse of Bolt, despite the world record holder opting out of an attempt at claiming the only major individual medal he has yet to win.

"Usain is a competitive guy and always wants to do more events," said Blake of his training partner.

"But he made the decision to compete only in the relay after I'd left camp so I don't know what happened. It was up to him and his coach."

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce -- the 2008 women's 100m Olympic champion -- is another Jamaican only scheduled for 4x100m duty at the Games.

But she insists the Commonwealths are a high priority for her compatriots.

"Some people may not have been at a World Championships or an Olympics, so the Commonwealths are valued by them," stressed the 27-year-old, also in Glasgow for the Diamond League meet.

"It is something big, of course it is. It's a championship and athletes from all over the world are taking part.

"Ok, the Americans will not be here but there are top athletes from Britain taking part. There are also the guys from Africa as well as Australia and New Zealand, so it definitely is something to look forward to."

Read more on:    iaaf  |  commonwealth games  |  yohan blake  |  athletics
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