Yohan Blake: I’d rather miss the Olympics than be vaccinated

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 told the Jamaican Gleaner 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.

Fellow sprinter Asafa Powell, a 4x100m relay gold medallist at Rio 2016, told the Jamaica Gleaner that he may not have a choice but to have the vaccine.

The 38-year-old suggested that if he declined the vaccine he would probably have to retire.

The Jamaican Government is set to roll out the vaccine first for frontline workers and senior citizens.

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.

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