Athletics Sports

I rather miss Tokyo 2020 than take COVID-19 vaccine- Blake

Four-time Olympic medallist Yohan Blake has said he would rather miss Tokyo 2020 than receive a COVID-19 vaccination. 

The Jamaican sprinter made the comment after competing at one of eight local athletics events arranged by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association, which were approved to take place by the country’s government.

Blake said that his position had not changed regarding the vaccine, with the former men’s 100 metres world champion saying he has his reasons for not wanting the COVID-19 vaccination.

“My mind still stays strong, I don’t want the vaccine,” Blake told the Jamaica Gleaner.

“I would rather miss the Olympics than take the vaccine.

“I am happy.

“I don’t want to get into it right now, but I have my reasons.”

Blake, who recently opened a health and wellness centre, told the Jamaica Gleaner that he hopes to compete internationally from May.

The 31-year-old will be seeking to compete at a third Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020.

He finished as the silver medallist in the men’s 100m and 200m at London 2012 behind compatriot Usain Bolt, while the duo formed part of Jamaica’s gold medal-winning 4x100m relay team at those Games and at Rio 2016.

Blake also finished fourth in the men’s 100m final at Rio 2016, but was unable to reach the 200m final.

Jamaica is set to receive the first of 50,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine this week, with 500,000 donated by the Government of India.

Under plans for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, vaccination will not be mandatory for athletes to compete.

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