Saturday’s National Track League meet, the Donovan Bailey Invitational in Edmonton, will be live on Flotrack. Named after Canadian hero and former 100m world record holder, The Donovan Bailey Invite wouldn’t be complete without some top tier sprinting events. And that’s exactly what we’re going to see as this meet will feature Yohan Blake in the 100m dash, the second fastest 200m runner of all time, and 2011 World Championships gold medalist.
Yohan Blake broke on to the world sprinting scene at the 2009 Reebok Grand Prix where, as a 19 year old, he broke 10 seconds for the 100m. In the race Blake ran 9.96, finishing third only behind Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell.
The year 2009, though a breakout year, also proved to be one engulfed in controversy. Before the World Championships in Berlin, Blake, along with two female teammates, tested positive for a substance that resembled a performance enhance drug on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list. However, since the drug wasn’t on the banned substance list, he received a mere wrist slapping and a three month ban from competition.
Blake’s competition ban was a mere speed bump, as 2011 proved to be a momentous season for him. At that year’s World Championships in Daegu, Korea, Blake walked away with the 100m dash gold medal, following the disqualification of teammate Usain Bolt. Blake’s victory made him the youngest 100m world champion since Carl Lewis won his title in 1983.
Blake followed his world championships performance with a Diamond League race in Zurich. There, he beat Asafa Powell, finishing in his current personal best 9.82 seconds. Not more than a week later, Blake ran the 2nd fastest 200m in history—only behind Usain Bolt—after running 19.26 seconds in Brussels.
Blake kicked off his 2012 season at the UTech Classic, where he ran the 100m dash. There, he ran the first sub-10 second 100m of the season, finishing in 9.90. Currently he holds the #2 time in the world, only behind Usain Bolt, with a 9.84 performance.
With his steady progression, and impressive resume, the 100m dash will be the highlight of the Donovan Bailey Invitational on Saturday. The question that’s on everyone’s mind is not will he win Saturday’s race—that seems fairly certain—but will he be able to defeat Bolt in London. The Donovan Bailey 100m will be a good arena to flex some muscle, send a statement, and show the world that he means business come showdown time with the world fastest man, Usain Bolt.Yohan Blake Interview Before Edmonton NTL (audio is hard to hear)