Road To The Olympic Games

Track and Field·Preview

Blake, Bolt set for final Diamond League meet of season

Yohan Blake failed to upstage Usain Bolt at the Olympics when it really counted, but he stands a better chance in Friday's Van Damme Memorial meet. (, 2 p.m. ET).
Jamaica's Usain Bolt, right, and Yohan Blake, shown celebrating their win in the men's 4 x 100-metre relay at the 2012 Summer Olympics, are looking for similar results in their Diamond League competition in Belgium on Friday. (File/Associated Press)

Yohan Blake failed to upstage Usain Bolt at the Olympics when it really counted. He stands a better chance at the Van Damme Memorial on Friday in Brussels, Belgium even though the two Jamaicans won't race each other.

Blake is returning to race the 200 metres at King Baudouin Stadium, one year after stunning everyone, Bolt included, by running the second-fastest time in history.

After beating Blake in the 100 and 200 at the London Games, three-time Olympic champion Bolt will take centre stage again in the 100.

Blake says he is fit and eager to beat the 19.26 seconds he ran last year and the fickle weather should co-operate, with balmy temperatures and clear skies predicted in what would be perfect conditions for sprinting.

"I kept my body in good condition for this moment to finish the season on a high," he said of the last Diamond League meet of the year.

Bolt's world record in the 200 stands at 19.19 in his favourite event, but Blake feels he is getting better and better at the half-lap race.

"My 200 metres is getting much, much better," Blake said. "I feel like I just started in a way."

Help may also be offered by one of the best stadiums for the race. The 50,000-capacity stadium is unexceptional in many ways but it has some of the widest corners on the circuit.

Three of the top-10 times were set in Brussels. Cut out the Olympics and world championships when the top stars always peak, and three of the four fastest times at the distance were set at King Baudouin.

That makes Blake's race all the more alluring.

After the Olympics, Blake became the second-fastest man in history in the 100 when he clocked 9.69 in Lausanne, Switzerland, underscoring his form ahead of Friday's race.

There will be overall winners in 15 events at the 14th and final Diamond League meeting this season. Already leading and with Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell not competing, Bolt has a lock on the diamond trophy in the 100.

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