LONDON, Sporting Alert – All eyes will be on Usain Bolt when the sprint king laces up at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in London on Friday evening. Live Results Page and Heat Sheets.
Bolt, who withdrew from the Jamaica National Championships with a hamstring injury earlier this month, will make his 200m season debut at the venue where he landed his triple Olympic crown four years ago.
READY TO CONFIRM FITNESS
The world record holder of both the 100m and 200m dashes has been training and receiving treatment on his hamstring and despite the uncertainty over his fitness for yet another major upcoming championships, the track and field global icon is expected to be ready for Brazil.
In fact, Bolt, who owns a season’s best of 9.88 seconds for the 100m, says he’s aiming for a victory at this year’s Müller Anniversary Games, but was not focusing too much on his time.
“I am here to win so that’s my focus and hopefully everything goes as smooth as I want tomorrow,” he said.
“I am always excited to compete here in London; it’s going to be a lot of fun so I’m looking forward to it.”
In London on Friday, the six-time Olympic champion will take on countryman Nickel Ashmeade, who was a double silver medallist at the Jamaica Trials earlier this month, as well as Canada’s Brendan Rodney, who recently improved his personal best to 19.96 seconds when winning at his country’s national championships.
Alonso Edward, the 2009 world silver medallist from Berlin, Germany, is the ninth fastest this season over the half-lap and the Panamanian has been running consistently, although he’s yet to break 20-seconds in 2016.
Also looking to spoil Bolt’s return to the Olympic stadium are Great Britain sprinters Adam Gemili and Danny Talbot in addition to France’s Christophe Lemaitre.
HARRISON LOOKING TO FORGET ABOUT TRIALS
Also suiting up on Friday’s first day of the two-day meeting is American Kendra Harrison, who will feature in the women’s 100m hurdles.
Harrison has been the most dominant women’s sprint hurdler this season – posting eight of her top 10 career-best times in 2016, while becoming the second fastest-ever in the 100m hurdles when she blasted to 12.24 seconds in Eugene, in May.
However, the 23-year-old missed out on a place on the American team to the Rio Olympics after finishing sixth in the finals and the former Kentucky star is hoping for a quick bounce back.
She admits that it’s devastating to miss out on her first Olympics, but remains hungry for the world record.
The American is also looking to win the Diamond League series in her event, so as to secure early passage into next year’s IAAF World Championships.
“I feel like I’m in good shape at the moment but I was obviously disappointed to not make the Olympic team, which was my goal,” Harrison said.
“But I can’t just stop my season; I’ll be going for the world record this season and getting as many Diamond League points as possible.
“That will make me continue to train hard and motivate me.”