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Blake not defending 100m title

sportsyohanblakenotbedefending100mtitleKINGSTON — A nagging hamstring injury has forced defending World 100 metres champion Yohan Blake to withdraw from the August 10-18 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia.

Agent Cubie Seegobin said that although Blake has made “vast improvement” since injuring the leg in April, he needed more time to fully recover.

“This decision was made after continual assessment and re-evaluations since his withdrawal from the Jamaican Senior Championships,” Seegobin said.

“Yohan has made vast improvement, although the injury sustained in April of this year has prevented him from attaining the necessary fitness levels that we have grown accustomed to seeing in his competition performances.”

Blake qualified for the August meet by winning the event at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

Last year, Blake ran the 100 metres in 9.69 seconds, equalling United States sprinter Tyson Gay as the second-fastest man in history behind Usain Bolt. A fit Blake would have been one of the favourites for the gold medal in Moscow.

Blake’s withdrawal yesterday follows news over the weekend that Gay and top Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson had failed doping tests.

Meanwhile, secretary of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association, Garth Gayle, said late yesterday that his organisation had not been officially informed of Blake’s withdrawal from the meet.

“We have no knowledge of him (Blake) not going. As far as we are concerned, yes, he is in the team,” Gayle said.

Following Blake’s withdrawal, Jamaica will now be represented in the 100 metres in Moscow by world-record holder Usain Bolt, who won the national title in 9.94 seconds, Kemar Bailey-Cole, second in 9.98, and Nickel Ashmeade, who finished third in 9.99.

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