The sprints at next year's Olympics may be a lot more than competitions for the silver and bronze medals.
Yesterday, at the final Diamond League meet of the season in Brussels, Jamaican Yohan Blake ran 19.26 in the 200. This was the event's second fastest time in history, behind only his countryman and training partner Usain Bolt.
But the 100 and 200-meter world record holder wasn't left out of the fun in the Belgian capital, clocking 9.76 in the 100, the event's fastest time this year.
Well, if nothing else, everyone knows there's someone who can beat Bolt in an event in which he was considered invincible. When Bolt won gold in the 200 in Beijing and Berlin, there was barely anyone else in the screen when he crossed the finish line.
After Bolt beat himself—in the eyes of many—by false starting himself out of a gold in the 100 at the recently completed World Championships in Daegu, his relatively easy win in the 200 (after blowing by American Walter Dix just before reaching the straightaway) probably convinced a lot of people all had returned to normal in the sprint world.
But now, another Usain Bolt Olympic sprint triple is far from a certainty. Despite not having run many 200s, Blake exploded in the last 80 meters to win easily in Brussels. In the process, he showed the world a different Jamaican could take home three golds in the sprints from London. Blake didn't go out too hard on the turns, but turned on the after burners to win easily and pass Michael Johnson in the history books.
However, is Blake now the 100 and 200 favorite in London? Despite winning gold in the 100 in Daegu, he didn't beat Bolt. So it remains he to be seen if he can hold off his taller, lankier training partner in the last 50 meters of a 100-meter final in a major competition (provided he, as expected, beats Bolt out of the blocks). And the 200 has been Bolt's domain, Bolt will be working his damnedest not to let anyone beat him in his event.
One thing is certain now—There is a chance Usain Bolt won't be dancing after one of the sprints in London.