2018 Brussels Diary: Baker or Coleman, Mondo after Berlin, EME previews AG Van Damme Memorial

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Coleman_ChristianPC-Pre18.JPGChristian Coleman, photo by Photorun.net

Baker_RonniePC1-Rome18.jpgRonnie Baker, photo by PhotoPhotorun.net

Miller_ShaunaeFans-BosOut18.jpG

Shaunae Miller-Uibo, photo by PhotoPhotorun.net

Duplantis_MondoPort1-Stockholm18.jpgMondo Duplantis, photo by Photorun.net

The AG Van Damme Memorial, named in honor of the late Ivo Van Damme, is a fitting end to the Diamond League season. Van Damme won the silver medals in the 800 meters and 1,500 meters in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, and was killed in auto accident while on a winter training camp at the end of the same year.

This meet is always a fun one, and the stadium, crowd and end of season emotions of many of the athletes call on exceptional performances.

Baker or Coleman, Mondo after Berlin
BRUSSELS (BEL): Another big show is ready for the AG Van Damme Memorial at the King Baudouin Stadium. At the end DJ with fireworks, but before for example 100 m for the fastest time of the year, Shaunae Miller-Uibo in the 200 m, Mondo Duplantis in pole vault and Sandra Perkovic for the record DL win. And in-between Belgian stars. Great mixture for a fantastic Friday evening.
Short previews
Men
100m - Seven of the eight athletes in the field have broken the 10 second-barrier in 2018. Ronnie Baker holds the world lead at 9.87 and he is looking to improve on that mark.
400m (non-DL) - Non-Diamond League 400m features Dylan and Kevin Borlee as well as reigning world U20 champion Jonathan Sacoor.
800m - Kenya's Emmanuel Korir will be looking to preserve his unbeaten run on the Diamond League circuit in 2018. His most recent race was a 1:42.79 win in Birmingham.
5000m - First sub-13 minute clocking of the season? Ethiopia's Yomif Kejelcha arrives in excellent form after a solo 7:28.00 3000m in Gothenburg.
110m hurdles - Sergey Shubenkov, the only hurdler with a sub-13 season's best at 12.92, returns to racing after a shock defeat to Pascal Martinot-Lagarde at the European Championships. Jamaica's Ronald Levy and Spain's Orlando Ortega have also showed good form in recent weeks.
High jump - Australia's Brandon Starc is the jumper to beat after equalling the national record with 2.36m in Eberstadt last weekend.
Triple jump - Another clash between Portugal's Pedro Pablo Pichardo and USA's Christian Taylor, who is looking for his seventh Diamond League title? Pichardo leads the world lists with 17.95m to Taylor's 17.81m.
Pole vault - Seven competitors have lifetime bests in excess of 6.00m. Timur Morgunov arrives fresh from victory in Zurich on Wednesday with 5.91m, although European champion Armand Duplantis was a notable absentee.
Discus - Excellent line-up includes the top three from the European Championships (Gudzius, Stahl, Weisshaidinger) as well as Olympic champion Christoph Harting, Commonwealth champion Fedrick Dacres and Asian Games winner Ehsan Hadadi.
Women
200m - Shaunae Miller-Uibo is unbeaten across all distances in 2018. Could the Bahamian challenge the 22 second-barrier for the first time this season? The line-up also includes world champion Dafne Schippers (coming from Zurich 5th 11.15) and Jamaica's Shericka Jackson.
400m - How will Bahrain's Salwa Eid Naser perform after a busy schedule at the Asian Games and the long journey from Jakarta? She leads the entry-list with 49.08.
800m (non-DL) - Lynsey Sharp (1:59.34) is the only sub-2:00 runner based on 2018 form in this non-Diamond League race but Ukraine's Olha Lyakhova did beat her at the European Championships.
1500m - Six runners have broken four minutes in 2018: Shelby Houlihan (3:57.34), Sifan Hassan (3:57.41, second in Zurich 5k), Gudaf Tsegay (3:57.64), Laura Muir (3:58.17), Rababe Arafi (3:59.15) and Jenny Simpson (3:59.37).
100m hurdles - Another head-to-head between world record-holder Keni Harrison (12.36) and Olympic champion Brianna McNeal (12.38). Harrison is 3-1 on McNeal in 2018.
400m hurdles (non-DL) - Watch out for Ukraine's Anna Ryzhykova and Great Britain's Meghan Beesley, silver and bronze medallists at the European Championships.
3000m steeplechase - Kenya's Beatrice Chepkoech followed up her 8:44.32 world record in Monaco with a solo win at the African Championships. Will there be another sub-nine clocking? Line-up also includes Hyvin Kiyeng, Celliphine Chespol, Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs.
Long jump - European champion Malaika Mihambo followed up her win in Berlin with victory in the Birmingham Diamond League. World leader Lorraine Ugen also competes. And also DL triple winner Ibarguen.
High jump (non-DL) - Nafissatou Thiam will be looking to close her season with victory on home soil. Her 2.01m clearance in Gotzis puts her seven centimetres ahead of the rest on this season's form.
Discus - Sandra Perkovic is the outstanding favourite to clinch her seventh Diamond League title which would match Renaud Lavillenie's record.

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