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Marathon running is not easy, says sprint great Yohan Blake

Anything is possible — Tata Mumbai Marathon Ambassador Blake adds

Mumbai, January 12: “I don’t think marathon runners get the utmost respect that they deserve,” Yohan Blake, the world’s youngest 100m world champion, told a news conference on Thursday.

“Yes, I know speed kills, but the marathon is run at a certain pace. It’s not easy,” said the Jamaican ace, who is the International Event Ambassador for the 2023 Tata Mumbai Marathon to be held on Sunday, January 15.

Over 55,000 participants have registered across six categories for the 18th edition of Asia’s most prestigious road race.

Long-distance great Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya smashed his world marathon record by 30 seconds, clocking 2:01:09 at the Berlin Marathon last year, and Blake thinks the time will be bettered.

“I think it’s possible, it can go lower by far. Give it time. Anything is possible,” added 33-year-old Blake, who is the second fastest man of all time.

Blake, the current 100m Jamaican champion, has clocked under 10 seconds in the 100m 48 times in his career and said he’s eyeing the World Championships in August.

“Yeah. I’m focusing on Budapest. I didn’t do what I wanted in the World Championships (Eugene, 2022). I’m very focused on Budapest.”

Blake feels a close affinity towards India because of his love for cricket and said unearthing athletics talent in this country is part of his plans.

“I intend to come to India and find the best runners. Use my team to train them. If it wasn’t for covid it would be in action already,” he said.

The Jamaican also spoke of his YB Afraid Foundation which is involved in the educational, social, physical, and mental health needs of underprivileged youth.

“You should not be afraid to help each other. I started the foundation because I came from a very poor background. I can bring them back to society and give them the scholarship to go to school.”

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