Bolt, Blake on show in Brussels
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AFP) — Jamaican sprint sensation Usain Bolt will round off his amazing season in the 100m at the Diamond League meet here on Friday.
But there will be no showdown with his compatriot Yohan Blake, who races in the 200m, the pair having decided not to line up against each other after the London Olympics.
Bolt claimed a second successive treble gold medal haul in the British capital, with Blake claiming silvers in the 100 and 200m, his gold coming courtesy of the 4x100m relay team alongside his older training partner.
The 26-year-old Bolt will be lining up over the 100m for the first time since his London triumph where he blazed to a 9.63sec run, his and history's second fastest performance.
He has won five of his six competitions this season, but that sole loss, to Blake at the Jamaican Olympic trials, seems all but forgotten.
With eight points, he's also sitting pretty in the Diamond Race, with only American Ryan Bailey, on six points, having a chance to take the series-long title — dependent on him winning the race outright, or finishing second with Bolt showing no better than fourth.
Blake could be targetting to better his personal best of 19.26sec, set in Brussels last season, the second fastest 200m ever (behind world record holder Bolt, 19.19sec).
"Last year in that race everything went according to plan," said Blake. "Brussels has a fantastic track and without a doubt the fastest corner of the circuit.
"I have no problem in getting ready for this," Blake said when asked whether he could go for another personal best.
"I always want to surprise the audience, anywhere I am. Two weeks ago I ran 9.69sec at 100m in Lausanne. But I am never satisfied with myself. I always want to do better. I did not set a specific goal. I just want to go all out and have fun."
Blake added: "I have no problem in staying focused after the Olympics. There I was nervous for the final of the 100m.
"The Olympics are ever so much more important than the World Championships. You can sense that in the stadium too.
"Sure, there was pressure, but it did not paralyse me. I am the second fastest man in the world. My ambition is to become the fastest man. I have to continue working very hard for that. Anything is possible."
Apart from Bolt, there will be six other Olympic champions on show at the sold-out Memorial Van Damme meet, the second of two Diamond League finals and the last meeting of the circuit in 2012.
As with the first final last week in Zurich, many of track and field's biggest names will converge on the Belgian capital to battle for the Diamond Trophy in the 15 remaining events.
Four athletes — Paul Kipsiele Koech, Barbora Spotakova, Kaliese Spencer and Chaunte Lowe — are coming to claim the Diamond Trophy they've already clinched, but the remaining 11 events are still very much up for grabs.