Brussels, Belgium
Thursday 15th September 2011
It's Diamond League time again!  This week sees the second instalment of the series finale that started last week in Zurich.  Of the British athletes in action this week, two are in position to repeat the success achieved last week by Jenny Meadows in securing the season title.  World Champion 400m hurdler, Dai Greene currently sits in pole position, whilst Phillips Idowu is in the same position in the triple jump.  Neither have competed since the World Championships in Daegu & both will call time on their seasons after tomorrow night's Brussels bonanza.

Personally, it is the second time in a fortnight (that's two weeks for my North American readers) that I find myself in Belgium.  Previously my trip to Bruges was the perfect way to unwind over the weekend, whereas this visit has already been much more intense, with 6 athletes having crossed my plinth since I checked in at 16.30 this afternoon.  As I made my final preparations yesterday morning, I was lead to believe that Dai & Phillips would be joined by Chrissie Ohurougu, Mark Lewis-Francis, Yamile Aldama & Chris Clarke.  However, by the time I left Lee Valley in the evening Jeanette Kwakye & World Champs silver medallist Hannah England had been added to that list despite neither being shown in the provisional start lists.  Another surprise addition came to light as I sat eating sushi for lunch at Gate 16 in Terminal 5 at Heathrow - the guy sitting across from me that looked like Harry Akines-Aryeety actually was Harry Akines-Aryeety & he was also destined for Brussels.  So all in all, 9 athletes from British training groups have made the journey across the Channel.

The big draws for the wider public are Usain Bolt who runs in the 100m & Yohan Blake who is down to race the 200m.  As we waited in the arrivals area of the airport for our transport to whisk us across town to the hotel, the debate that sprung to the fore between ourselves & the members of the British press that had also made the trip, concerned the apparent reluctance of these two guys to go head-to-head.  It seems neither wants to risk losing face by losing to the other & yet there is a strong argument to suggest that the public is being cheated out of an intriguing contest of Worlds Fastest Man vs World Champion...personally I would subscribe to that opinion.

Consequently, it may well be that the women's 100m will command more interest than the foregone conclusions of Bolt winning the 100m & Blake winning the 200m.  As Jeanette Kwakye proposed this afternoon, it's perfectly feasible to suggest that, give or take the odd name, the line up in the women's blue riband event may well be reunited in the final of the same event in London next year.

& so the stage is set!  Tomorrow night should trigger significant interest & the crowd threatens to be a big one.  Check back tomorrow & I will review the evening's proceedings... 
blog comments powered by Disqus