A look ahead to the last meeting in the 2014 Diamond League series
A final 16 Diamond Race winners will be crowed at the Memorial Van Damme in Brussels on Friday as the 2014 Diamond League series reaches its conclusion.
The winners of eight of those 16 events have already been decided, though athletes must compete in the Belgian capital to secure their victory, along with the $40,000 USD bonus.
Provided they all compete, Valerie Adams (shot put), Jairus Birech (3000m steeplechase), Caterine Ibarguen (triple jump), Renaud Lavillenie (pole vault), Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (110m hurdles), Kaliese Spencer (400m hurdles), Eunice Sum (800m) and Novlene Williams-Mills (400m) will walk away from Brussels with the Diamond Race trophy.
In the other eight events stakes will be as high as double points are available in the Diamond Race – eight points for each winner of a Diamond Race event, four points to the athlete placing second and two points to the athlete placing third.
There are just two points separating USA’s Olympic champion Allyson Felix and Nigeria’s double Commonwealth sprint champion Blessing Okagbare in the 200m, while standings are also close in the men’s 100m with USA’s Mike Rodgers currently top. He’ll line up alongside Britain’s James Dasaolu, Trinidad and Tobago’s Richard Thompson, Saint Kitts and Nevis sprinter Kim Collins, Jamaicans Kemar Bailey-Cole, Nesta Carter and Asafa Powell, as well as his fellow Americans Justin Gatlin and Tyon Gay.
The five men to have cleared 2.40m or higher this year – Bohdan Bondarenko, Ivan Ukhov, Mutaz Essa Barshim, Andriy Protsenko and Derek Drouin – again go head-to-head with the high jump set to be one of the highlights. Olympic, world and European gold medallist Barbora Spotakova leads the javelin rankings, while the men’s long jump competition remains wide open, with Christian Taylor, Ignisious Gaisah, Li Jinzhe, Luis Rivera , Godfrey Mokoena and Zarck Visser among those in action. Robert Harting will again face Piotr Malachowski and Gerd Kanter in the discus.
Galen Rupp steps down to take on the 1500m where he’ll race the likes of world No.1 Silas Kiplagat and world champion Asbel Kiprop, while a top field in the 3000m includes Genzebe Dibaba, Mercy Cherono and Jennifer Simpson.
Other British athletes in action include Will Sharman in the 110m hurdles, Lynsey Sharp in the 800m, Jodie Williams in the 200m, Luke Cutts in the pole vault and Eilidh Child in the 400m hurdles.
Paralympic silver medallist and world T44 200m record-holder Richard Browne of the US goes head-to-head with Germany’s newly-crowned European champion Felix Streng over half a lap, while Britain’s Mel Nicholls is among those to line up in the women’s 400m wheelchair race.
Non-Diamond League action also includes Britain’s Conrad Williams in the 400m, France’s Christophe Lemaitre in the 200m and Mohammed Aman and Adam Kszczot over 1000m.
» Full entry lists and a timetable can be found here