In a result that can no longer be considered a surprise, Yohan Blake beat Usain Bolt in the 200 meters at Jamaican Olympic trials Sunday, finishing in 19.80 seconds to edge the world-record holder by 0.03.
When it was over, Bolt was the first one to approach his training partner and friend and give him a big bear hug. Moments later, Bolt was down on the ground, getting his right hamstring stretched out, while Blake was celebrating — rather modestly — in front of the grandstand.
“A lot of people gave me encouragement, said, ‘Yohan Blake, you can do it,'” Blake said. “I just wanted to keep performing and keep going.”
The win came two days after Blake, the reigning world 100 champion, beat Bolt in the 100 by running a 9.75.
That was a shocker, but there were explanations — most notably the terrible starts Bolt got off to throughout the 100 heats and in the final. Bolt has always considered the 200, which better suits his lanky 6-foot-5 frame, his real work. And indeed, he’s got work to do there, as well.
As they approached the finish line, Bolt was grimacing — or was that the hint of a frustrated smile — as he looked to his left to see what hardly anyone could have imagined earlier this week: Blake beating him to the finish line for the second time in the span of three days.
“I’ll have to figure out what I did wrong and work on it,” Bolt said.