Yohan Blake runs second fastest 200m of all time
Brussels: Jamaican Yohan Blake blazed to the second fastest 200 metres of all time at the Brussels Diamond League meeting on Friday, upstaging compatriot and training partner Usain Bolt who clocked the quickest 100m of the season.
Blake, who won the world 100 title in Daegu last month after Bolt was disqualified from the final, stunned the capacity crowd by clocking 19.26, just seven-hundreds of a second behind Bolt`s world record set in Berlin in 2009.
Blake, the man seen as the main challenger to Bolt`s supremacy, said he was surprised by the time.
"I knew I could do something crazy... but to be honest I was surprised when I saw the clock at the finishing line," he told reporters.
Bolt, the Olympic 100 and 200 metre champion, failed to deliver in the 100 in Daegu after leaving the blocks too early, and was far from the first to rise on Friday, needing to drive hard to push past fellow Jamaican Nesta Carter.
His time of 9.76 was two hundredths of a second quicker than the previous season best of Asafa Powell set in June.
So who is the world`s fastest man now?
"Well, he is the world number one," Blake said referring to Bolt. "In the 200 metres, well, I would say, yeah, I`m number one."
Bolt, who retained his 200 world title in South Korea, was his usual confident self and said he was not worried by Blake`s time.
"Listen, you need to understand, I`ve done great things. Yohan is coming, he is going to be a great athlete, but I`m not afraid of one athlete," he said.
"I`m still number one. He has to beat me a couple of times before I have to start getting worried. He still has a long way to go," he continued before adding that 2012 would be "an interesting season".
Double Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia, who limped out of the 10,000 metres at the world championships, ran the fastest time of the season in 26 minutes 43.16 seconds after a last lap sprint with Kenya`s Lucas Kimeli Rotich, who smashed his personal best by almost 30 seconds.
Bekele, out with a ruptured calf muscle since the start of 2010, said he had come close to quitting a year ago, but his friends had given him the strength to carry on.
"Two years is a long time without racing, without training. I am getting back to a good level and after this I will improve, so it was perfect," he said.
For many athletes the Brussels meeting brought the season to a close, but the fast track produced a string of season and personal best performances.
In the women`s 100 metres, the one-two-three was a repeat of the world championship final in Daegu last month. American Camelita Jeter proved she is this season`s form sprinter with a time of 10.78, ahead of Jamaica`s Veronica Campbell-Brown and Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad and Tobago.
Jeter was one of 16 athletes to win a trophy and $40,000 for being the most consistent performers over the Diamond League series.
In the 1,500 metres, American Morgan Uceny also took a trophy and cash prize after she clocked a world best for 2011 of 4:00.06.
Women`s 100 metres hurdles world champion Sally Pearson of Australia had an unhappy evening, crashing out of the race while leading after hitting a hurdle and ending up lying prone on the track.
The race was won by American Danielle Carruthers.