As the Commonwealth Games approach, plenty of focus will be on Jamaica’s track superstars.
Yohan Blake, who competed in the Cayman Islands two years ago, is expected to headline the Jamaican contingent competing in Glasgow, Scotland, from July 23 to August 3.
One of the subplots around the country’s participation will be how the sprinters perform following the recent drug scandals to affect stars like Asafa Powell. Critics such as American legend Carl Lewis have suggested the Jamaican drug testing program is insufficient, prompting Blake to say his countrymen are on a mission to make the nine-time Olympic gold medalist insignificant.
“Lewis has been talking a lot of smack,” Blake said. “Even the other day in India, he said some things about Usain Bolt, but we know we are clean, and we know we are good for the sport. We feel like we always have something to prove. We are taking all his records. There is no more for him.”
Lewis and the Jamaican sprinters have had a long-standing feud. Back in 2008, he called into question Bolt’s success at the Beijing Games and this year says the doping bans handed to Powell and Sherone Simpson were vindication of his previous assertions.
“A couple of years ago, I was attacked, especially by the Jamaicans and Usain, about my comments,” Lewis said. “But all of a sudden when what I said was true, everyone went silent. I think their issue should be, let’s go back and ask Jamaica to show that they’re doing what’s supposed to be done because I don’t know of any country that’s had as many positive tests in the last three or four years than their country.”
Blake and his countrymen would respond with victory in the men’s 4×200 meter final at last month’s International Association of Athletics Federations World Relays in the Bahamas, as Jamaica’s time of 1:18.68 smashed Lewis and Team USA’s 20-year-old record by .05 seconds. Cayman sent its own team to Nassau, consisting of Rhymeich Adolphus, Tyrell Cuffy, David Hamil, Kemar Hyman and Troy Long. Hyman and company will likely be facing the 2011 world 100m champion in Glasgow as Blake – the Olympic 100m and 200m silver medalist – says he will run multiple events.
“I haven’t chosen my events yet,” Blake said. “I’m waiting to talk to my manager and coach, but I will probably double up. I’ve got world and Olympic medals and it would be good to have some Commonwealth medals as well.”