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Daniel Bailey (9.97) makes it 6-5 in duel with Yohan Blake (9.98)

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Daniel Bailey (9.97) makes it 6-5 in duel with Yohan Blake (9.98) 55910_FULL-PRT
Daniel Bailey of Antigua and Barbuda.

Bailey edges Blake 9.97 to 9.98 in Strasbourg

Pierre-Jean Vazel for the IAAF
IAAF Website
Monday, 13 June 2011

13 June 2011 - Strasbourg, France – Sprinters Daniel Bailey (9.97) and Yohan Blake (9.98) produced fast times at the “Meeting de Strasbourg et des DNA” on Sunday (12) night. Other highlights included Jonathan Borlée’s European-leading 400m (45.04) and 17.29m efforts by both Benjamin Compaoré and Alexis Copello.

Five days after Montreuil where Blake of Jamaica won in 9.96 and Bailey of Antigua placed third in 10.00 while Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre stole the show with a 9.97 national record, fast times were expected in Strasbsourg. In the absence of Lemaitre, the Caribbean duo was keen to run in the Stade de Hautepierre under good climatic conditions.

However, Blake in lane 4 didn’t came out of the blocks as well as he did in Montreuil; on his left, the powerful Dwain Chambers of Great Britain was the quickest to move. However, by 30m, 35-year-old Kim Collins was leading in lane 6 but seemed to loose his rhythm, lost contact with the leaders and stopped running with 40m to go due to a groin pain. At this point, Chambers, Blake and Bailey were in the same line and the later leaned at the tape to win in 9.97 (wind 0.5), a mere 0.01 ahead of Blake. Chambers was third in 10.04.

“The first part of my race and my transition phase were perfect,” analysed Bailey, who came within 0.06 of his national record. “There is still room for improvement as basically, my stride length is a little bit too short.”

After three weeks spent on the European circuit, Bailey will fly back today to Jamaica with instructive experience. “Here I learned how to acclimatise and cope with different eating habits.” Contrary to his training partner Bailey, Blake is going into the all-important Jamaican trials for the World Championships.

“I will now eat right and get prepared,” said Blake. “I have enough time before the trials to fix the poor start I did today. I think I just lost focus, because my training before the race has been perfect.”

On the other hand, Bailey will be able to relax and train. “In Antigua we also have trials but it’s low level compared to Jamaica, so I’m going back to training and don’t know yet where and when I’m running next.”

Bailey, 24, and Blake, 21, virtually inseparable on the track, are training partners, coached by Glen Mills – like World record holder Usain Bolt – enter the same meetings and share the same warm-up routine, but really are not alike. In 12 confrontations against each other at 100m, they tied once, Blake won five times and Bailey’s victory yesterday was his sixth victory, but the first in since 2009. Blake, more shy, explains their differences regarding the execution of the race: “Bailey is a good starter, while I’m trying to work on it. When I have to run from the back like today, the race is over.” Their physical abilities distinguish them also. “I have more endurance than Bailey,” Blake, 1.80m/76kg explains. “I can run the 200m (his personal best is 19.78) and I’m the fastest of the group at 300m during practice, while Bailey’s groin issue has prevented him from working the longer distances in competition.” The bubbly Bailey, 1.78m/80kg concurs. “He is stronger, I’m quicker. It’s really not a problem to race against a training partner. We know that these competitions are also part of the training. We don’t worry about that, we stay cool and just think about execution.”

Borlée approaching sub-45 territory
Jonathan Borlée, in the absence of his twin brother, European Champion Kévin, won the 400m in 45.04, the best time by a European this year. “I’m happy with the time as I’m not yet prepared to run at 100% since the season will be very long” the Belgian said. “Today my rhythm during the race was good, but I could have run the first part a little bit faster. I managed to accelerate in the last bend. I haven’t yet started the specific preparation which will include 300m and simulations of 400m, which will allow me to improve.”

An important part of this improvement will come from more emphasis on the 200m this season, illustrated by his recent personal best of 20.42. “I used to avoid 200m in order to avoid injuries. But now that I’m more powerful, more physically stable, I hope I can go down to 20.30,” he estimated. “But until the London Olympics, the goal is to run the 400m, as I think Kévin and I can do good things on the one-lap race. Maybe after 2012, if our performances stagnate, we will go for 800m!”

In the women’s sprints, Mariya Ryemyen broke her personal best twice to make a 100m and 200m sweep in 11.21 (0.4) and 22.68 (0.7). The Ukrainian indicated that she will focus more on the 200m at the World Championships, while her teammate Olesya Povh (2nd in 11.24 and 22.80) will eye the 100m. In the 200m, European champion Myriam Soumaré opened her season after some exhibition races and 400m trials with a third place finish in 23.10.


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