Diamond League: athletes to watch in Brussels

Diamond League 2011

Venue:
Brussels
Date:
Friday, 16 September
Coverage:
Watch live from 1900 BST on BBC Two and the BBC Sport website (UK users only)
Get involved:
Use Twitter via hashtag #BBCAthletics
Dai Greene
Britain's Dai Greene won an enthralling 400m hurdles in Daegu, and is now looking to add the Diamond Trophy to that world crown.

Startlists on the official Diamond League website

1930 BST: Men's Pole Vault

Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie again flattered to deceive at the recent World Championships, where he claimed his second successive bronze medal, but his consistent performances over the course of the season have kept him on track to win the Diamond Race for a second straight year.

He has a six-point lead over Germany's Malte Mohr, but points count double in Brussels so Lavillenie will have to keep an eye on his main rival if he is to celebrate his 25th birthday on Sunday with the Diamond Trophy.

The world gold and silver medallists, Pawel Wojciechowski and Lázaro Borges, are not in action.

1905 BST: Women's 100m

Carmelita Jeter
World champion Carmelita Jeter

American Carmelita Jeter has enjoyed a jet-heeled 2011, culminating in her first major global title. She has an unassailable lead in the Diamond League series over 100m and is guaranteed to end the year as the world's number one.

Jeter holds an eight-point advantage over Trinidad and Tobago's world bronze medallist Kelly-Ann Baptiste, and her three Diamond League victories over the course of the year - compared to Baptiste's one - mean that she cannot be caught for the title. Veronica Campbell-Brown finished second to Jeter in Daegu and is again expected to push her rival close.

1915 BST: Men's 400m hurdles

Great Britain's new world champion Dai Greene has a five-point advantage over world silver medallist Javier Culson as the race for the overall Diamond League crown goes down to the wire. This event was one of the most closely fought in Daegu, with the outcome only becoming clear over the last 50m. It looks like the destination of the Diamond Trophy might go the same way.

Both Greene (Lausanne and Birmingham) and Puerto Rican Culson (New York and Crystal Palace) have triumphed twice on the circuit this term. Long-term pace-setter LJ Van Zyl of South Africa and American Bershawn Jackson are noticeable absentees.

1931 BST: Men's 100m

Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt lines up in the 100m.

Though not a Diamond League event tonight, this is one of the most anticipated races in Brussels as former world champion Usain Bolt takes part in his highest profile 100m since his disqualification in Daegu last month. The Jamaican ran a season's best 9.85 seconds in Zagreb earlier this week to give the world a glimpse of what they missed out on in South Korea. He will be keen to lower than mark again in Belgium.

Bolt's compatriots Nesta Carter and Lerone Clarke also race, while American duo Justin Gatlin and Travis Padgett will be out to stop an end of season Jamaican party.

1937 BST: Men's 200m

New 100m world champion Yohan Blake steps up in distance for one last concerted effort before heading home to Jamaica for a well-earned rest. The rising sprint star is eying a "perfect race" having followed up his success in Daegu with two victories, both in 9.82 seconds, in Zurich and Berlin. A perfect race for the 21-year-old would mean lowering his lifetime best over the distance, which is the 19.78 seconds he set in Monaco last year. That task looks a tall order considering his best over 200m this year is only 20.33.

With all eyes on Blake, Norway's Jaysuma Saidy Ndure could benefit from the spotlight being elsewhere. The lesser-known 27-year-old, who was fourth in Daegu, would leap-frog both Usain Bolt and Walter Dix in the Diamond Race standings with victory. Anything other than a Saidy Ndure win would see the absent Bolt and Dix share the honours.

1940 BST: Men's Javelin

Just as it was at the World Championships, the fight for the overall Diamond League title is between Daegu gold medallist Matthias de Zordo of Germany and Norway's Andreas Thorkildsen. De Zordo won the world title with an opening-round effort of 86.27m, which was also a season's best for him.

However, it's double Olympic champion Thorkildsen who holds the advantage in the Diamond League standings, with de Zordo only able to overtake him if he wins tonight and the Norwegian finishes no higher than third.

1945 BST: Men's 800m

David Rudisha
World champion David Rudisha

The 2010 Athlete of the Year and world record holder David Rudisha recently added the world title to his list of honours and is now focused on defending the Diamond League Race he won 12 months ago.

The 22-year-old Kenyan claimed gold in Daegu last month by half-a-second. With two Diamond League wins to his name this season, and a two-point advantage over compatriot Asbel Kiprop, Rudisha is again the hot favourite for honours in Brussels, although five athletes are separated by only four points.

Fellow Kenyan Alfred Kirwa Yego heads that list; he starts the race on five points, only three behind Rudisha. World silver medallist Abubaker Kaki of Sudan is sure to be one man to run his own race, while Poland's Marcin Lewandowski leads the European quest for glory.

1955 BST: Women's 100m hurdles

Australia's Sally Pearson

Australian world champian Sally Pearson will be looking for a repeat performance of her display in Zurich last week, when she blew her rivals away with a near faultless display. That race was not part of the Diamond League calendar so the world champion, who set a new lifetime best and championship record when sealing Daegu gold, is fully aware she cannot afford any slip ups, especially with American duo Danielle Carruthers and Kellie Wells breathing down her neck.

Pearson, who has three Diamond League wins to her name this season, has a point advantage over world silver medallist Carruthers, with Wells a further point back.

2032 BST: Women's 400m

World champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana has been the class act over one lap for women this year. She set a new national record of 49.56 seconds in denying Allyson Felix glory in Daegu and has another possible shot at lowering that mark. Russia's Antonina Krivoshapka and Novlene Williams-Mills of Jamaica will head the pursuit.

This has been a year to forget for Olympic and former world champion Christine Ohuruogu. The Brit was disqualified in Daegu for false starting in her heat but at least broke the rather modest mark of 51 seconds for the first time this season earlier this week.

2038 BST: Men's 5,000m

The curtain comes down on another season of Diamond League athletics with 12-and-a-half laps of the King Baudouin Stadium. World champion Mo Farah does not run despite leading the standings, so it is Ethiopian Imane Merga who looks primed to take the final Diamond Trophy on offer. He was disqualified in Daegu for stepping inside the curb after initially claiming the bronze medal. That prize went to compatriot Dejen Gebremeskel, who again lies in wait to deny Merga should he slip up again.

Merga's biggest threat however is young Kenyan Vincent Chepkok, who has a slower season's best than the Ethiopian but has a better lifetime best. The 23-year-old begins the race just two points behind Merga and one behind the absent Farah.

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