Yohan Blake is a Jamaican track and field athlete born on 26th December 1989. He hails from Kingston, Jamaica. Blake specializes in 100m and 200m sprints and has been representing his country internationally since 2005.
Yohan Blake was born to Veda Blake and Shirley Blake. He comes from a humble family residing in St.James and later moving to St. Christian Parish. He has a sister, Arlene Blake.
Yohan Blake was athletic when he was young and is a cricket enthusiast. While in elementary school, Blake pursued his interest in cricket. After joining St.Jago High School in St. Christian Parish, he continued playing cricket and represented his school team on several occasions.
Blake’s athleticism happened to be spotted by his high school principal when he was quickly running towards the wicket during the practice session and urged him to switch to athletics. On the exhortation of his principal, Blake quit cricket and trained for athletics. Apart from athletics, he continues to play cricket during the off-season and is a member of the Kingston Cricket Club.
Rise to Glory:
Yohan Blake got his first major career break in 2005 when he won two Gold medals in 100m and 200m sprints in the youth category at the CARIFTA Games. A year later, Blake bagged two titles in 200m and 4x100m relay in the junior category of the athletic tournament, followed by a Gold medal sweep in 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay at the CAC Junior Championships (U20).
Blake holds a junior national record of 10.11 seconds in 100m meters. In 2016, he bagged the national titles in 100m and 200m by clocking 9.92s and 20.29s, respectively. The following year, he defended his national titles at the Jamaican Athletics Championships. In 2019, Blake triumphed his third 100m national title, whereas he finished 2nd in the 200m sprint.
Yohan Blake holds the joint world record for second fastest runner in the 100 meters (9.69s) with Tyson Gay of the US and second fastest behind compatriot Usain Bolt in the 200 meters (19.26s).
Yohan Blake got his international breakthrough came in 2006 when he won the Bronze medal in 100m, followed by a Gold medal in 4x100m relay at the World Junior Athletics Championships in Beijing, China. The following year, he won a Silver medal and a Bronze in 100m and 4x100m relay respectively at the Pan American Junior Games.
In 2008, Blake won the Silver medal in the 4x100m relay at the World Junior Athletics Championships. Three years later, in 2011, he was shot to the limelight after he made it to a podium finish with a Gold medal in 100m, followed by another Gold medal with his national relay team in the 4x100m relay at the World Athletics Championships.
In 2012, Yohan Blake made his Olympics debut at the London Olympics, where he bagged a Gold medal in a 4x100m relay with a world record timing of 36.84s and two Silver medals in 100m and 200m events by clocking 9.75s and 19.44s, respectively. In 2014, at the World Athletics Relays, Blake and his Jamaica relay team made it to the podium finish twice with Gold medals in 4x100m and 4x200m relays.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Blake was part of the Jamaica relay team that defended the Olympic title in the 4x100m relay. In the 100m event, he finished 4th with a timing of 9.93s, 0.02s behind Bronze-medalist Andre De Grasse of Canada. In 2018, he won two Bronze medals in 100m and 4x100m relay at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, followed by a Gold medal in 4x100m while representing Americas at the Continental Cup.
Yohan Blake will be competing in his third Olympics at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and is one of the strong contenders to win the Gold medal in the 100m event.