Jude Monye

With the upcoming diamond league taking place this Friday in Brussels, African Track and Field enthusiasts will be privileged to enjoy watching the continent’s brightest stars compete. Most notably Wayde Van Niekerk and Isaac Makwala in the 200m, both who have incidentally clocked sub 20 seconds for the 200m. Also in the 400mH the world champion Nicholas Bett, Boniface Timuti and  LJ Van Zyl are expected to put on a great show. In the 800m, Asbel Kiprop and Nijel Amos will be facing each other.

Finally world champion Julius Yego and World university games champion and RSA 100m Co record holder, Akani Simbine are all expected to shine too.

Though these races are coming at the very end of the season when these athletes are very weary, as a result of the prolonged season. Hence the withdrawal of a certain Usain Bolt who was initially scheduled to race over the 200m. Nevertheless I still think this event will be compelling and fascinating to watch in Brussels.

I think it is absolutely imperative that followers of the sport understand the mind set of an athlete at the end of such a grueling season. As an athlete you are not only physically drained but you are also emotionally and psychologically spent. All which can have an impact on your performance. Now if these races were been held at a different time, we potentially could be talking about some national record biting the dust once again.

As stated earlier, I Believe these races will be compelling and fascinating race to watch, not so much as the times that would be returned but so, because of the dichotomy of their running Tactics that would be employed, most notably in the 800m in which Asbel Kiprop would be stepping down to the 800m after a very dominant performance in the 1,500, to race against Amos who has had a late surge and a rebirth this late in the season..

Usually, when it comes to racing the 200m, the 100m/200m sprinters inevitably always have the upper hand over the 400m/200m sprinters. Though there have been some exceptions, like Michael Johnson a former 200m world record holder. But now, with Van Niekerk being a former 200m specialist coupled with fact that he has vastly improved on his strength endurance over 400m, could be given the edge to come out on top. Van Niekerk’s basic pure speed and strength endurance is a deadly combination that cannot be overlooked. Nevertheless the contrast in style of all the 200m sprinters would be an intriguing match-up.

Written by Jude Monye