Athletics Weekly - - Action -

NETHA­NEEL MITCHELL-BLAKE has had a lot to get used to since be­com­ing a world cham­pion as part of the gold medal-win­ning 4x100m quar­tet last month, the rous­ing re­cep­tion he got when he was in­tro­duced to the sub­stan­tial crowd bear­ing tes­ta­ment to a grow­ing pro­file.

On Ty­ne­side he was pre­sented with a chal­lenge en­tirely new to him in the form of the 150m on the pop-up track, while it was the 23-year-old’s first taste of street ath­let­ics, too.

He was up against fel­low coun­try­man Harry Aikines-Ary­eetey, the ever­green Kim Collins of St Kitts and Ne­vis and Ameer Webb.

It was the Amer­i­can who came out on top in what was a tight race in 15.24 (0.0), frac­tion­ally ahead of Mitchell-Blake’s 15.26. Aikines-Ary­eetey ran 15.38 for third and 41-year-old Collins 15.82.

“It was my first time run­ning the 150m,” said Mitchell-Blake. “It’s hard to fathom be­cause no one can ever say they’ve ever prac­ticed a 150m straight. I’m sure ev­ery­one has a mas­ter­plan as they ap­proach it but

I’m sure that when they start run­ning it just jumps out the win­dow – I’m speak­ing for my­self there as well!”

As for the fans, he added: “They re­mem­bered me! It was nice to get the ap­pre­ci­a­tion – it’s re­ally hum­bling and it’s what keeps you go­ing.”

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