Greene vote for Blake

Kenyan Edna Kiplagat won the women’s marathon gold on Saturday  AP

Maurice Greene, never one to hold back his opinion, said Bolt was looking shaky this time and his Jamaican team-mate Yohan Blake could take over as the fastest man on the planet.

“It is in championships that stars are born and made, and I believe there will be a surprise this time,” said the former Olympic champion and world record holder, speaking at a promotional event.

“And Yohan Blake could be the man who is going to surprise a lot of people.”
The 22-year-old Blake, a former world junior bronze medallist, has a personal best of 9.89 seconds compared to Bolt’s world record of 9.58, but Greene felt Bolt was lacking the edge that made him untouchable two years ago in the 100 metres.

“Not to take anything away from Usain, he is not running the same way as he did when he set that world record and his technique isn’t the same,” said the American, who ran a then world record of 9.79 in 1999 and went on to win the Olympic gold in 2000. “That is why someone else can come up and beat him.”

Greene said the 100M final could be a touch-and-go affair. “It will be one of the closest races run at these championships. In 1997 (World Championships), a lot of people didn’t expect me to win. Just like that, a star is going to be born this time and it is going to be Blake.”

Blake, the youngest to break the 10-second barrier (19 years and 197 days), won the London Diamond League meeting earlier this month in 9.95 seconds. He had tested positive for a stimulant prior to the 2009 Worlds and was handed a three-month ban.

“He is young and talented and doesn’t know anything other than running fast,” Greene said of Blake. “Sometimes, a great athlete can generate a fear factor around him. But I don’t think Blake is fearful of Bolt. He is mentally very tough.”
Greene however said Bolt was the favourite in the 200M. “No one is going to beat him there. That is his race.”

Another former world champion, Tyson Gay, disagreed with Greene and tipped Bolt for another triumph. “He is a championship performer and my money is on him,” said the 2007 world champion.

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