$13.3m To See Yohan Blake “the Beast”

US$150,000 (J$13.3 million) is what he commands per race and Yohan Blake and his management team will not budge British fans, eager to get a glimpse of Jamaican ….

100m world champion and 100m and 200m Olympic silver medallist this weekend, at the AVIVA Birmingham Grand Prix, following his exploits at the London Olympic Games, will have to wait a while longer after the sprinter’s management rejected an “insulting” £40,000 (J$5.6 million) from promoters.

Blake, who will headline the 100m at today’s Diamond League outing at Lausanne, has instead confirmed his participation at the remaining stops in the lucrative series in Zurich, on August 29 and Brussels on September 7. Blake last year posted the second fastest 200m in history, 19.26, in Brussels.

Cubie Seegobin, Blake’s manager, blasted meet promoter Ian Stewart and said the offer, which he refused shorlty after the Olympic Games via email, “didn’t come close” to what his athlete was worth.

“There’s an arrogance about these meets in England,” said Seegobin, who also manages another Jamaican, Olympic 200m bronze medallist Warren Weir. “There’s something wrong. The attitude seems to be, “We’ve got Mo Farah so we don’t need anyone else”. Birmingham has a big West Indian community and you would have thought they would want to see Yohan Blake or Warren Weir or some of the other Jamaicans.”

“This friendly stuff doesn’t work,” Seegobin added. “If you’re friends with this manager you get to have your athletes come in. If you’re not friends, you don’t get invited. You have to be in the boys’ club.”

Blake and Weir will join repeat Olympic 100m and 200m champion Usain Bolt in Lausanne, at a meet that features 19 Olympic champions.

Bolt and Weir will run in the 200m, along with fellow Jamaicans Nickel Ashmeade, Jason Young and Marvin Anderson with Churandy Martina and Wallace Spearmon also booked to compete.

Blake will have Nesta Carter, Ryan Bailey and Tyson Gay for company in the 100m.

The women’s 100m is also stacked, with two-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce looking to continue where she left off while bronze medallist Veronica Campbell-Brown, silver medallist Carmelita Jeter and Kerron Stewart all looking to get the better of her.

All eyes will be on Melaine Walker as she joins Kaliese Spencer in the 400m hurdles, while Rusheen McDonald will run in the 400m.

Olympic bronze medallist Hansle Parchment is listed in the men’s 110m hurdles where he will come up against the two men who finished ahead of him in London, champion Aries Merritt and Jason Richardson.

Source: The Star



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