Hassan headlines classy Brussels Diamond League
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Brussels (AFP) –
Dutch all-rounder Sifan Hassan, who won two golds and a bronze in an unprecedented effort at a distance treble at the Tokyo Olympics, heads up a talent-loaded field at the penultimate meeting of the 2021 Diamond League series in Brussels on Friday.
In the last event before the two-day Diamond League finals in Zurich on September 8-9, the men's 100m featuring Tokyo silver medallist Fred Kerley of the US will also be a highlight.
Kerley will be up against compatriots Trayvon Bromell, Michael Norman and Ronnie Baker, along with Canada's Olympic 200m champion Andre De Grasse.
Kerley, fresh from a personal best of 19.79sec in the 200m in Paris last week, said: "I've got a lot of confidence in my current form and want to show what I've got in the upcoming weeks.
"My goal is very clear: I want to be the fastest man in the 100m, 200m and the 400m."
Kerley joined an exclusive club this year of sprinters who have broken 10 seconds in the 100m, 20 seconds in the 200m and 44 seconds in the 400m. Only Norman and South African Wayde van Niekerk have also achieved the feat.
"I want to be the best at all three distances. What makes someone the best, maybe a world record? I know I have got the potential to break the 400m record.
"I want to be a legend, like Usain Bolt. I see him as a big brother. To me he will always have a spot on the podium of the greatest of all time, he is a big example."
Hassan will race the mile at the King Baudouin Stadium, a venue she knows well, having broken the one-hour world record there last year.
The Ethiopian-born Dutch runner is also the world record holder in the mile and, given her sparkling form, it would take a brave person to bet against her winning once again.
The women's 200m is packed full of quality, with Tokyo bronze medallist Shericka Jackson, Olympic finalist Marie-Josee Ta Lou and a handful of sprinters who have a point to prove after Olympic disappointment this summer.
Outspoken American Sha'Carri Richardson missed out on a trip to Tokyo after being handed a one-month ban after testing positive for cannabis while Britain's Dina Asher-Smith was forced to pull out through injury.
Christine Mboma, the 18-year-old Namibian who is barred from running events between 400m and the mile because of her high testosterone levels, won a surprise silver in the 200m in Tokyo and will likely be a strong contender in Brussels.
Having rebounded from a disappointing outing at Lausanne with an emphatic win in Paris, Olympic pole vault champion Armand "Mondo" Duplantis is likely to again attempt to better his own world record of 6.18m.
© 2021 AFP