Diamond Debate - Thompson's Eugene test
Lowe: They are building a nice little rivalry and tomorrow's 200m clash between Elaine Thompson and Dafne Schippers should certainly be as exciting as their previous races against each other.
KC Graham: I think this rivalry will be the best among female athletes for the next two years as both are kind of fresh on the scene and look likely to be the best over the event.
Lowe: Their times certainly support that position. The 21.66 (Thompson) and 21.63 (Schippers) run by the two at last year's World Championships is still fresh in the mind and certainly breathes fresh life into the event. Schippers has looked really good already this year \m 7.00 in the 60m, 10.83 in the 100m, and 22.02 after two 200m races. She has run a lot this year, which is a discussion on its own. The point ,though, is that this will be Thompson's first 200m this season, and maybe this will also come into play.
KC Graham: Last year, Thompson was very inexperienced. Now, she will be more relaxed, and after her excellent debut on the world stage last year, I think she is ready to do some damage. Her coach. Stephen Francis, has worked on her start, and based on what I saw at Jamaica International, she is going to do something special this year and Eugene could be the start of this.
Lowe: Her start has come a long way. It could hardly have been any worse, and with this new weapon in her arsenal, she is better equipped to beat the big Dutch sprinter. This one is going to be a hard call, I expect them to go very close to 22 flat here. I wouldn't be surprised if they both scrape 21.9 highs. I'm inclined to give Dafne the edge for now, but I really can't say that it's a confident pick.
KC Graham: Yes, Dafne got the edge over Elaine the last two times they met, and with a season's best of 22.02 seconds, which is a world leading time in the event, the Dutch lady will start favourite despite this being her first 200 metres this season.
Elaine is a 'monster' and only lost because of inexperience in Beijing last year and is ready to avenge that defeat. I see both athletes going sub-22 seconds here. We cannot ignore Tori Bowie because remember, at this same track two years ago, she won the event running out of lane one in 22.18 seconds and with a season's best of 22.26 seconds, done in The Bahamas, she cannot be ignored.
Lowe: Hmmm ... Bowie could spoil the fun for real. Since that run in Nassau, she has gone 10.80 and 10.91 in the 100m, so she is in good overall form. It's her best start to a season in a while and she'll certainly complete the top three here. Where they each finish is the next question. I have my doubts, but I'll go with Dafne, slightly over Elaine, with Bowie pushing hard for third.
KC Graham: I am going to make a bold prediction here and people might say I am crazy. After her spectacular performance at the same track in 2014 and with her best start to a season, I am going with Bowie at home to surprise the big two here.
Lowe: All things considered, it's not that crazy. It's a bolder prediction but one that's certainly possible. Either way, it's not a race to be missed!