Wednesday 28 September 2016

Blake lives up to top-billing with stadium record run

Dave Hooper

Published 25/07/2015 | 02:30

Yohan Blake, Jamaica, acknowledges the crowd in Santry Stadium after victory in the 100m (Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE)
Yohan Blake, Jamaica, acknowledges the crowd in Santry Stadium after victory in the 100m (Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE)

Yohann Blake lit up the Morton Stadium in Santry last night, setting a new stadium record of 10.12, though the cool Dublin evening prevented a first sub-10 second run in Ireland.

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Jamaican Blake, the second-fastest man in the world, is on the comeback trail having injured his hamstring after taking Olympic 100m and 200m silver behind Usain Bolt in 2012 delighted the Morton stadium crowd.

"I've always wanted to come to Ireland. I'm a big fan of the Irish Cricket team, especially the O'Brien's," said Blake whose school principal convinced him to pick athletics over cricket.

"I'm very happy with my time," grinned Blake. "It was pretty cold, which made it difficult, but I was happy to get through such a good field. I'm getting faster all the time, my aim is to get faster throughout 2015."

Blake immediately raced into the Morton Stadium crowd to sign autograph's having already missed out on the Jamaican team for this year's World Championships, Blake aims to be on the podium at next year's Olympic games in Rio.

Thomas Barr was a late withdrawal from the men's 400 metres hurdles, complaining of a sore hip. The World university games champion will travel to London for today's anniversary games, part of the Diamond league.

"The hip injury I had last year flared up again," admitted Barr. "I'm going to travel to London and do a full warm-up, if it's not right, I'm going to sit it out in London as well."

Barr watched from the stands as a battling New Zealander Michael Cochrane held off America Quincy Downing to take the 400 metres hurdles title in 50.07 seconds, stretching for the tape in the last few metres.

Barr's club mate Kelly Proper just missed out on the qualifying standard for this year's World Championships, winning the 200 metres in 23.54, 0.34 seconds outside the standard, which has escaped Proper all summer.

England's Jarryd Dunn held off Dubliner Brian Gregan in one of the night's closest races, winning the 400 metres in 45.89 seconds with Gregan clocking 45.99 seconds outside his target time of 45.50 which is needed for next month's World Championships.

Battled

New Zealaner Angela Petty dipped under the two-minute mark in the women's 800 metres, the World University Games champion clocking 1.59.09, while Donegal man Karl Griffin battled to an impressive 800 metres victory clocking 1.47.47.

Ciara Mageen surged home over the final 100 metres to take the women's international mile race in 4.30.65 ahead of American Shelby Houlihan, having battled Houlihan throughout the four laps.

Australian Jeff Casey brought the curtain down with a sub-four minute mile on an electric evening, passing American Pat Casey with 100 metres remaining to stop the clock at 3.57.09.

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