Athletics: Blake completes Jamaican sprint double in Bolt's absence

Yohan Blake smiles after winning the Men's 200 metre final at the Jamaica National Senior Championships on July 3, 2016.
Yohan Blake smiles after winning the Men's 200 metre final at the Jamaica National Senior Championships on July 3, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Olympic double silver medallist Yohan Blake completed the sprint double at the Jamaican Championships when he easily won the men's 200 metres on Sunday.

In the absence of the injured Usain Bolt, Blake covered the field by the 120-metre mark, before pulling away to win in 20.29 seconds, his best time since finishing second to Bolt at the London 2012 Olympics in 19.44 seconds.

"I know I was working really hard in training and I just needed to get the race out of the way early, so I just relaxed and took it home, given that the wind was against me," Blake, who claimed the 100m in 9.95 seconds on Friday, told Reuters.

"As you can see I'm very consistent last night in the semi and today is the same time, so I'm good," added the second fastest man in the history of the half-lap event with his time of 19.26.

He said he definitely planned to run the sprint double at the Rio Olympics next month.

Behind Blake, Nickel Ashmeade and Julian Forte finished in second and third respectively, leaving Forte's Olympic hopes hanging in the balance.

The Jamaica Athletics selection committee is set to meet on Thursday to pick the team and decide if defending Olympic champion Bolt, who has a medical exemption, replaces Forte in the 200m.

Bolt pulled out of the championships on Friday, citing a minor hamstring tear.