BRUSSELS - Yohan Blake failed to upstage Usain Bolt at the Olympics when it really counted. He stands a better chance at the Van Damme Memorial on Friday, even though the two Jamaicans won't race each other.
Whereas Blake still feels fit and thinking about having fun during his 200-meter race, three-time Olympic champion Bolt is mentally drained as he prepares to run in the 100.
Blake is returning to race the 200 at King Baudouin Stadium, one year after stunning everyone, Bolt included, by running the second-fastest time in history. It was only .07 seconds outside Bolt's world record and announced Blake as his major rival during the Olympic year.
That proved to be the case.
"Everyone remembers Yohan's race because it was a shocker to everyone," Bolt said.
Blake says he is fit and eager to beat the 19.26 seconds he ran last year and the fickle weather should co-operate, with balmy temperatures and clear skies predicted in what would be perfect conditions for sprinting.
"I kept my body in good condition for this moment to finish the season on a high," he said of the last Diamond League meet of the year.
Bolt said top rivals should only run each other only twice or three times a year, and certainly not at the end of a draining season.
"You play the rivalry down if you compete all the time against each other," Bolt said.
After beating Blake into second place in the 100 and 200 at the London Games, Bolt will take centre stage again in the 100. At this stage, breaking his own stadium record of 9.76 seconds will do.
"My body is getting there but I got one more run in me," he said. "I'm drained now. I'm drawing blanks."
That leaves the way open for Blake to receive all the attention.
Bolt's world record in the 200 stands at 19.19, but Blake feels he is getting better and better at the half-lap race.
Help may also be offered by one of the best stadiums for the race. The 50,000-capacity stadium is unexceptional in many ways but it has some of the widest corners on the circuit.
Three of the top-10 times were set in Brussels. Cut out the Olympics and world championships when the top stars always peak, and three of the four fastest times at the distance were set at King Baudouin.
That makes Blake's race all the more alluring.
After the Olympics, Blake became the second-fastest man in history in the 100 when he clocked 9.69 in Lausanne, Switzerland, underscoring his form ahead of Friday's race.