Our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI: It was a unique experience. The place is 34th floor of Hotel Trident, Mumbai. Two-time Olympic champion Yohan Blake was sitting in front of us. The room is crowded with the visiting journalists came from across the country and all were busy to shoot questions one after another.
Once the turn came for The Sentinel and asked him what suggestion he would like to give the young athletes of India. As a reference I also took the name of our promising star Hima Das who won gold in 400mts during U-20 World Athletic Championship in 2018.
Once Blake heard the name of Hima he turned neck towards me and said: Hima! I know the girl. Yes, I know her.'
It was a rare occasion when an international star openly acknowledged a promising athlete from Assam and that too in an open forum.
Yohan Blake is in Mumbai today to promote the Road Safety World Series T20 tournament. Several legends including Sachin Tandulkar and Brain Lara will be the part of this competition to be organized in Mumbai and Pune to spread campaign on road safety. As per the statics every year more than 150,000 people lose their in India.
Yohan Blake, who is now preparing himself for the forthcoming Tokyo Olympics, today admitted that it will be his last international race.
Revisualising his meeting with Hima the sprinter from Jamaika today said, “I know that girl. I met her during 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast and also exchanged a few words. She is a good sprinter.”
Later he added: “My suggestion to her and other promising athletes of India is that they should work hard. If necessary they must work for three sessions in a day as there is no other alternative of success.”
Blake, the youngest to win the 100m at the 2011 World Athletics Championships, also announced one good news for Hima and other promising Indian athletes. He is very much eager to work with them.
Addressing the gathering in the function the ace athlete said, “I believe India can produce world class athlete. After the Tokyo Games I am seriously thinking to visit India again to search talent and also to work with them. I assured you it could be possible.
Commenting on his preparation of the forthcoming Olympics sprinter said. " It is going to be my last Olympics and definitely I am going for the gold.”
Blake also considers himself favourite to bag gold in the 100m sprint at Tokyo. “I’m always the favourite because I am the second fastest man in the universe,” added the ace athlete
Commenting on his association with the World Road Safety Series Blake said, “I am sad to learn that more than 150,000 people lose their life every year in India due to road accidents. That is a very big number. We can’t afford to lose so many precious lives just like that. I think the Road Safety World Series is a very good platform to spread the message across because I know that India loves cricket and they will watch this Series with lot of interest.”
The function was also attended by former captain of Team India Md Azharuddin and Ravi Gaikwad, RTO Chief of Thane (Konkan Range).
Supporting the road safety campaign Azharuddin, who lost his son in a road accident, said, “It’s a very good cause. Everyone should come forward to support.”