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Inside Track: Waiting for the first sprint showdown
When will the Diamond League have its first sprint showdown?
That’s a frequent question from athletics followers whose appetites have been whetted by the fast early times of Asafa Powell, Tyson Gay and Usain Bolt.
We know, according to a Diamond League announcement, all three are scheduled to run a 100 metres in the August 27 Brussels meeting, but you can bet your ever-shrinking euro that Bolt and Gay will race in the same stadium before then.
After all, more head-to-head clashes is one of the promises of the new 14-meeting circuit.
Also, Gay has told us he is scheduled to meet Bolt three times at 100 metres this season.
With Brussels already decided, that leaves New York’s June 12 grand prix as likely candidate Number Two..
Bolt, who set his first 100 metres world record there, previously has been confirmed for the meeting with Gay sure to follow.
The American’s entry has yet to be announced, but can a meeting whose title sponsor is Gay’s shoe company and whose organiser is Gay’s manager really go off without the former 100 and 200 metres world champion?
Powell will not be in New York, having committed to Rome’s June 10 Golden Gala to ensure at least one of the three sprinters is at each of the 14 meetings, another Diamond League promise.
But the Jamaican former 100 metres world record holder could join Bolt and Gay in London.
Organisers have announced only Gay for the August 13-14 competition’s 100 metres, but surely Bolt, and perhaps Powell, will find his way into the starting blocks at Crystal Palace.
The three are under contract for seven meetings each on the Diamond League circuit. Six of the seven races have been announced with several Bolt-Powell or Gay-Powell races on the slate.
Care to join the guessing as to where Number Seven will be for each?
Here is the lineup for the three so far as released by the Diamond League:
Bolt – Shanghai (200), New York (100), Lausanne (200), Paris (100), Zurich (200), Brussels (100).
Gay – Eugene (200), Gateshead (200), Monaco (200), Stockholm (100), London (100), Brussels (100).
Powell – Doha, Oslo, Rome, Paris, Stockholm, Brussels, all 100s
Reuters athletics writer Gene Cherry blogs about the sport on Fridays
PHOTO: Usain Bolt (R) of Jamaica crosses the finish line ahead of Tyson Gay (C) of the U.S. and Asafa Powell (L) of Jamaica to win the men’s 100 meters final during the world athletics championships at the Olympic stadium in Berlin, August 16, 2009. Bolt set a world record of 9.58 seconds in the race. REUTERS/Michael Dalder