After finishing second to Jamaican teammate Usain Bolt in the 100-meter dash and picking up a silver medal, Yohan Blake entered the 200-meter event with high hopes.
It's fair to say that he lived up to the hype, as he captured a silver medal on Thursday with a time of 19.44 seconds.
Usain Bolt took home gold with a time of 19.32 seconds.
Blake defeated Bolt in the 100 at the Jamaican Olympic trials, and he won the 100 at the World Championships last year, thanks, in part, to Bolt false starting. With that in mind, there was a lot expected of Blake heading into London. And he hasn't disappointed, with two medals in two events.
The 200-meter dash may not have been as star-studded as the 100, but Blake still had plenty of high-quality sprinters to deal with. In addition to Bolt, he also had to try and outgun fellow countryman Warren Weir (who finished third), American Wallace Spearmon (fourth) and Churandy Martina of the Netherlands, among others.
Prior to Bolt's gold in the event in Beijing, Jamaica hadn't captured an Olympic medal in the 200 since Don Quarrie's bronze in 1980. That was the year that the always-dominant American team boycotted due to the Games being in Moscow.
Blake contributed to a new era of Jamaican excellence in the 200-meter dash on Thursday, however, by reaching the podium. At 22 years of age, you have to wonder if Blake is now the future of Jamaican sprinting rather than Bolt, even though Bolt remains the best in the sport.
Usain Bolt is currently 25 years old. While runners tend to be able to run into their early 30s, perhaps Blake will be able to surpass him over the next four years.
Blake will essentially be entering his prime when the Rio de Janeiro Olympics take place in 2016. So while the battle between the two of them has been great in London, it should be even more intriguing in Brazil.
Short-distance running was experiencing a bit of a downturn prior to Bolt's electrifying performance in Beijing. But with him and Blake carrying the flag for Jamaica, as well as American runners like Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin putting in solid efforts, things are more competitive and exciting now than they have been in a long time on the track.
It's great to see young talents like Blake come along and reach their full potential. His 200-meter showing is proof that he is well on his way to superstardom. Blake still has a way to go when it comes to passing Bolt in that regard, but perhaps he will be equally popular in due time.
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