Yohan Blake in action at the Van Damme Memorial in Brussels (© Organisers)
Yohan Blake, World champion over 100m, and Japhet Korir, World champion on the cross-country, are the two latest signings for the Belgacom Memorial Van Damme, one of two finals in the IAAF Diamond League series, in Brussels on 6 September.
The King Baudouin Stadium in the Belgian capital has been a happy stomping ground for Blake in recent years, playing host to his sensational 19.26 clocking over 200m in 2011. That performance remains the second-fastest in history and ranks him between Usain Bolt and Michael Johnson on the all-time list.
Blake returned to Brussels last year and once again impressed in the 200m, winning in 19.54 – the third-fastest time of his career behind his 19.26 and the 19.44 clocking he ran to win Olympic silver behind Bolt in London last summer.
Six-time Olympic gold medallist Bolt, Blake’s training partner, has already signed up for the Belgacom Memorial Van Damme. It means that for the third year in a row both Jamaican superstars will grace the Brussels track for the Diamond League final.
At the other end of the distance spectrum, newly-minted World cross-country champion Japhet Korir will compete in the longest track race of the evening’s programme, the 5000m.
The Kenyan, who at just 19 years old last month became the youngest ever winner of the senior men’s crown at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, has already got his track season underway, easily winning the 5000m at the Melbourne IAAF World Challenge meeting earlier this month.
Korir, who until now has never competed in a Diamond League event, is eager to get into faster races so that he can improve on his PB of 13:11.44 set indoors last year.
Jon Mulkeen and organisers for the IAAF
2013 IAAF Diamond League Calendar
Doha, QAT – 10 May
Shanghai, CHN – 18 May
New York, USA – 25 May
Eugene, USA – 1 Jun
Rome, ITA – 6 Jun
Oslo, NOR – 13 Jun
Birmingham, GBR – 30 Jun
Lausanne, SUI – 4 Jul
Paris, FRA – 6 Jul
Monaco, MON – 19 Jul
London, GBR – 26-27 Jul
Stockholm, SWE – 22 Aug
Zürich, SUI – 29 Aug
Brussels, BEL – 6 Sep