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World Athletics Championships

Canadian Sprinter Jerome Blake Ready for World Athletics Championships

One of Canada’s fastest sprinters, Jerome Blake is on a fast track to Doha, Qatar World Athletics Championships later this month.  

After a recent win in the men’s 4×100 meters relay at a Diamond League meet in Paris set a Canadian meet record, Canada’s sprint team could be a force to be reckoned with.  

The Burnaby, B.C. track star competes in both the 100 and 200 meters, yet he wasn’t sprinting until after turning 18. 

This is remarkable considering he only turned 24 on August 19.  In an email interview, he shared his training regime and talked about the upcoming Worlds in Doha. Looking further, he hopes to make the Canadian team for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

Jerome matter-of-factly discussed starting late as a sprinter, explaining that he’d basically prepared himself through other track events.  

“(Though) I started sprinting when I was 18, before that I was a jumper but I would say I started taking it (sprinting) seriously in 2018.  Before that, I would skip practice and wasn’t really taking it seriously.” 

As this is still 2019, you can see what might conservatively be described as other worldly improvement from Blake. 

Winning in the men’s 4×100 meter relay was a confidence booster to all his training. 

He says, “It was a good feeling you know, getting some much-needed experience in with those guys before the world championship coming up in Doha.” 

Those guys include established Canadian track stars, Andre De Grasse, who did not run in Paris, Aaron Brown, who anchored in Paris, Gavin Smellie, and Brendon Rodney. 

The world championships will take place from September 27 to October 6.

Blake was asked, how does it feel to be racing against his teammate and mentor, the aforementioned Brown?  “It feels good lining up against Aaron… he’s one of the fastest guys in the world so it’s always a good race whenever we line up.  He’s a great person. He’s my mentor, so he’s been there for me on and off the track. I try to do the same for younger athletes whenever they ask me questions or reach out to me because when I was much younger if I had all the help and support from guys at the highest level (it) would’ve been very helpful, so I really try to return the favour.” 

Blake is also happy to have family support and having them come to his meets. 

As a professional runner, he says, “It takes a lot of sacrifices and dedication and hard work – you miss a lot of stuff and you just have to understand why you’re doing it and stay true to yourself. Training is going well, actually just getting ready for the world championship coming up and then after that we’ll take a break, maybe about four weeks, then start the preparations for the Olympic Games in 2020… the plan for that is to make the team and go for individual event…and hopefully, do my best and possibly win a medal.”

Blake talked about a proper diet being essential to his training.  “Nutrition is very important – you have to fuel your body with the right food supplements if needed.  Good nutrition is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Combined with physical work we put in as athletes, your diet can help you to reach and maintain a healthy weight and maintain your body with all the hard work you put in.”

I asked, what is one thing people may not know about Jerome Blake? “I love country music and I’m thinking about making music.”  

One of his favorite singers is Kane Brown, an American country singer/songwriter. 

Christine Blanchette is host and producer of Run With It, a monthly running, fitness and health program on her YouTube channel.