Men's 200-Meter Dash: Can Yohan Blake Take Down Usain Bolt?

Alex SimsCorrespondent IIIAugust 9, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07:  Yohan Blake of Jamaica reacts after competing in the Men's 200m Round 1 Heats on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 7, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Jamaican sprinters Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake have reclaimed their titles as the two fastest sprinters in the world after a gold-silver finish in the 100-meter dash in London.

We all know about Bolt—the 6'5" freak of nature who is the fastest human to ever run both the 100- and 200-meter events. 

He is the reigning Olympic and world champion in the 200-meter, and he is the biggest international track superstar in the world.

And then there's Blake.

Much like Asafa Powell before him, Blake has been growing accustomed to playing second fiddle and singing backup vocals to his rockstar countryman.  

Also much like with Powell before him, if Bolt weren't around, it would be Blake who received the recognition and star status that comes with being the fastest man in the world. 

Blake is actually the defending world champion in the 100-meter, but only because Bolt jumped early off the blocks at the 2011 world championships in Daegu, Korea. 

Blake also outran Bolt at the Jamaican Trials in both the 100 and 200.

The 22-year-old from St. James, Jamaica tried again to prove his 100-meter superiority over Bolt in London, but the fastest man the world has ever seen prevailed. 

During Bolt's introduction at the 200-meter semifinals in London, the PA announcer made the official judgement: Bolt is not just the fastest man on the plant—he's the fastest man on all of the planets.

He seemed to hold back a smile, trying not to play up his intergalactic introduction to the cameras in his face. 

Then, he took his blocks and exploded out at the gun like, well, a lightning bolt, building a huge lead before making the turn and coasting to an easy victory in the 200-meter semifinals. 

In the post-heat interview, Bolt was asked about how much energy he exerted in his 656-foot stroll into the finals, to which he said this (via Alan Abrahamson,

"So, I ran it kind of hard as possible, came up and just chilled pretty much so ... probably 60 percent maybe."

However, there was one runner who made his semifinal run look even easier.

Bolt's teammate and training partner seemed utterly bored as he jogged to the fastest time in the semifinals.  

Yes, Blake recorded the fastest time of 20.01 seconds to qualify for the finals, while Bolt was No. 5, running in 20.18 seconds. 

Blake did this without the flashy introduction and without being asked how hard he ran afterwards.  

If I had to guess, I'd put it somewhere around 50 percent.

It looked more like Blake was sleep-walking than running an Olympic heat, as he didn't appear to be the least bit short of breath after the race.

I'm not sure, but he might have actually held back a yawn in respect to his other competitors.  

Either way, the Jamaican duo set the stage for a truly epic 200-meter final in which the other six finalists will be racing for bronze.  

Bolt currently holds the universe record (as far as I know) in the 200-meter at 19.19 seconds. In 2008, he set the Olympic record at 19.30 seconds.

However, if Bolt fails to break that Olympic-record time, Blake can beat him.

In the 2011 Diamond League in Brussels, Belgium, Blake torched the competition (including Bolt and American Walter Dix), running his personal best of 19.26 seconds.   

Blake already beat Bolt once in the 200-meter at the Jamaican Trials in July.

It's going to take Bolt's best to cross the line before his teammate—and this is something Bolt knows.

If Blake runs to his potential in the 200 and Bolt does not, then yes, it will be Yohan Blake who is atop the podium in London.