Three Jamaicans chase diamonds

September 09, 2016
@Normal:Elaine Thompson
@Normal:Damar Forbes
Jamaica's Stephenie McPherson

BRUSSELS, Belgium:

Three Jamaican stars go into today's Diamond League finale at the Brussels Memorial van Damme meet inside the King Baudouin Stadium with an eye on the glistening Diamond Trophy and the even more dazzling US$40,000 cash prize that goes with that.

Elaine Thompson, Stephenie-Ann McPherson and Damar Forbes all have a chance of getting their hands on the top prize, with Thompson and McPherson starting from the front in their events the women's 100m and 400m, respectively, and Forbes looking to make up some ground with his third-place positioning in the men's long jump.

Thompson (30 points), who has been riding a cloud since her double gold medal haul at the Rio Olympic Games, is eight points better than her nearest rival, 200m Diamond Trophy winner Dafne Schippers and simply needs to finish in the top two in today's 100m, which also includes Christania Williams and Simone Facey, if she's to win her first Diamond Trophy.

"I wasn't focusing on the diamond this year, but I went out and ran a lot of 100m races this season and I've won and executed as best as I can; so to be here running the last 100m to try for my first Diamond League trophy is a marvellous feeling," said Thompson.

McPherson is aiming to follow up on Novlene Williams-Mills' 2014 win with a diamond of her own in the one-lap event.

McPherson (31 points) needs to win the race or finish second (and hope American Natasha Hastings isn't the person ahead of her) to win the Diamond race.

There are several other permutations, given the closeness of this face-off with the American just three points behind.

Essentially, once McPherson finishes in the top three with Hastings behind her, or finishes fourth to sixth with Hastings no more than one position ahead of her, the title will belong to the Jamaican. The math will be even simpler if Hastings finishes sixth or lower. That won't happen though.




One person more than capable of beating these two is Olympic bronze medal winner Shericka Jackson, who always finds an extra gear under the spotlights.

800m standout Caster Semenya's entry in the 400m is sure to also add to the dynamic.

Forbes (17 points) will need to repeat his win from the Monaco Diamond League for his best chance of winning the diamond in his event with China's Xinglong Gao and Australia's Fabrice Lapierre both coming in with 24 points.

Kimberly Williams will line up in the women's triple jump, looking for her first win in the event since late July. Kaliese Spencer runs in the women's 400m hurdles while Julian Forte will also feature in the men's 200m, with both also looking to end their seasons on a high.

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