As the Diamond League season approaches its climax, the Brussels Diamond League on Friday has some interesting line-ups to watch ahead of the finals in Eugene.
After an incredible 800m run in Zurich to win the race in a fast 1:57.71, Laura Muir of Great Britain will move back to her special distance in what promises to be an exciting women’s 1500m race. She will face off with Kenya’s new and rising star, Nelly Chepchirchir, who was second in Xiamen after running a personal best time of 3:56.72. Australia’s Linden Hall, who was just behind Chepchirchir in 3:57.92, will also be at the start line.
However, the two Ethiopians who finished 1-2 at the Silesia Diamond League meeting in July in their personal best times, Hirut Meshesha (3:54.87) and Birke Haylom (3:54.93), could as well do a repeat here. Ciara Mageean of Ireland, Katie Snowden of Great Britain, Jesicca Hull of Australia, Sinclaire Johson of the USA, and Melissa Courtney-Bryant of Great Britain are the other sub-4 minute runners on the start list.
There is a famous saying: When the cat is away, the rat will reign. When the two top medalists from Budapest staged a rematch in Xiamen, the bronze medalist, Ben Pattison, finished in 9th. But he will be in action in Brussels, while Marco Arop and Emmanuel Wanyonyi will be absent. Will he prove that he is the world’s third-best runner in the 800m?
Other big names to watch out for include Wycliffe Kinyamal, who had the world-leading time of 1:43.22 before Wanyonyi set a new one last week, Slimane Moula and Djamel Sedjati of Algeria, Bryce Hoppel of the USA and Benjamin Robert of France.
After a surprise defeat in his favorite event, the 1500m, at the Budapest 23, Jakob Ingebrigtsen is expected to run a fast time in the men’s 2000m. The start list is deep, with many runners who ran with him in the 1500m race at the world championships. They include his fellow countryman, Narve Nordas, who had won the bronze medal. Mario Garcia of Spain, Abel Kipsang and, Reynold Cheruiyot of Kenya, and Stewart McSweyn of Australia are among the runners who threaten to cause another upset to Ingebrigtsen here.
There is also an exciting men’s 10,000m race with Kenya’s Daniel Ebenyo, straight from winning the silver medal in Budapest, expected to win. But he should expect tough competition, especially from fellow Kenyans that include Bernard Kibet, with a personal best time of 26:55.04, Nicholas Kipkorir (26:58.97)and the former world silver medalist, Waithaka Mburu.
The women’s 5000m race could provide an exciting duel among Japan’s Nozomi Tanaka, Kenya’s Lilian Rengeruk, and Medina Eisa of Ethiopia.