After rumours that the International Olympics Committee (IOC) was unimpressed that Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake had been competing while wearing a bespoke Richard Mille tourbillon, Blake last night stepped into the Olympic stadium sans watch.
He had already raced in the 100m final and several heats wearing the Jamaican-inspired bespoke tourbillon but had apparently come under questioning from the IOC about the timepiece. There were concerns that it might have flouted IOC rules by not being a watch from the Games’ official timing partner Omega, or a watch that fitted within its regulations for sporting apparel.
Last night the sprinter appeared on the starting block alongside Usain Bolt and Warren Weir, but had evidently left the offending timepiece in his kit bag.
The Jamaica Observer newspaper has today reported that it spoke with Cubie Seegobin, Blake’s agent, who had said he had not yet heard from either the IOC or the Olympic organisers.
He did however state that Blake was entitled to wear a watch and that he had not breached any rules or contracts.
The Jamaica Observer said that Richard Mille had been in touch, sending through a release that stated the following: "Richard Mille is a brand that relishes the challenge of developing exciting watches with all its sports ambassadors when competing in their respective sports. Yohan Blake is wearing a Richard Mille watch to which there is no retail value as it is a specific prototype sporting Jamaican colours. This follows the same brand philosophy we currently develop with our other sports ambassadors and in the near future Yohan Blake will develop with Richard Mille a specific running watch."
Blake came second in last night’s 200m final, being pipped to the post by Usain Bolt. Fellow Jamaican sprinter Warren Weir came in third place, marking a 1, 2, 3 finish for Jamaica.