A week after his disappointing 100-metre performance against the world's top sprinters, Canada's Andre De Grasse will renew a collegiate rivalry at the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham, England on Sunday (CBCSports.ca, 9 a.m. ET).
De Grasse will run beside Trayvon Bromell of the United States in the men's 200, scheduled for 3:45 p.m. ET at Alexander Stadium. They haven't raced each other since they shared a bronze medal in the 100 last August at the 2015 world championships in Beijing, China.
The 21-year-old De Grasse, who turned professional in December, struggled in his first major test of the outdoor season, finishing last in the 100 at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meet in Eugene, Oregon. He clocked 10.05 seconds, well back of American stars Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay along with Jamaica's Asafa Powell.
In April, De Grasse was upset by Ameer Webb of the U.S. in the 100 at the Mount SAC Relays in California, two weeks after the Markham, Ont., native opened his season with a wind-aided 9.99 to capture the 100 at the Florida Relays.
"It's perfect timing for Andre to run the 200," former Olympic 100-metre champion Donovan Bailey said this week. "He has been nursing some injuries and doing a speed endurance race is what he needs now."
Sprint double victory
De Grasse won the sprint double at last summer's Pan Am Games in Toronto, establishing a national record of 19.88 in the 200 to become the first Canadian ever man to run sub-10 seconds in the 100 and sub-20 seconds in the 200.
Bromell, 20, edged Powell in the 60 at the world indoor championships in March for his first senior world title, and became the first U.S. athlete in six years to win, stopping the clock in a personal-best 6.47 seconds.
"I'm really looking forward to testing myself over 200 metres," Bromell was quoted as saying in a story on the IAAF Diamond League website. "It will be good to compete against Andre in a 200."
De Grasse held bragging rights entering last year's worlds after defeating Bromell in the 200 at the NCAA championships.
Prior to Thursday in Rome, Bromell hadn't run a 200 in about a month. He appeared to fade after 50 metres at the Olympic Stadium and finished seventh of nine runners in 20.80. Bromell's season best is 20.30, the winning time at the 2016 Baylor Invitational in Waco, Texas on April 9.
"Mentally," said Bailey, "Andre has the edge. However, Bromell is confident after world indoors."
Webb will race Sunday, coming off Thursday's victory in the 200 in Rome, and looking to improve his chances to compete at the Rio Olympics in August.
Alonso Edward of Panama and James Ellington of Great Britain are the other notables in the field.
Edward was third in Thursday's race in 20.25 and is tied with Webb for the season lead in Diamond League points with 20. Two weeks ago, Ellington won the Ostrava Golden Spike in the Czech Republic in 20.35, not far off his season best of 20.31.
From Rome to Birmingham
Kimberly Hyancinthe (women's 100 B), Melissa Bishop (women's 800) and Liz Gleadle (women's javelin) are the other Canadians in Birmingham who competed in Rome.
Hyancinthe finished third in a field of nine with a time of 11.54 seconds. Bishop was seventh among 11 runners, clocking a season best 1:59.97, while Gleadle had a best throw of 56.16 metres to finish ninth in a field of 12.
Chris Winter of North Vancouver, B.C., will also compete in the men's 3,000 steeplechase.
One of Canada's top cross country and steeplechase runners, Winter achieved a season-best run of eight minutes 27.18 seconds in the 3,000 at the Hoka One One Middle Distance Classic on May 20 in Los Angeles. In his 20th season on the track, Winter achieved the Olympic qualifying standard of 8:30.00 last July in London, England.
Here are some notable matchups in Birmingham:
Women's 100 hurdles
The matchup to watch is American standout Kendra Harrison against current Olympic champion Sally Pearson of Australia. Harrison's personal best of 12.24 seconds in winning at Diamond League Eugene a week ago was only 0.03 seconds shy of the world record, set by Yordanka Donkova of Bulgaria in 1988. Pearson's personal best is 12.28.
Double Olympic champion Mo Farah of Great Britain is fresh off a win in the men's 10,000 at the Eugene Diamond League, where he ran 26 minutes 53.71 seconds. Farah, who will defend his 5,000 and 10,000 titles at the Rio Olympics, won the 3,000 in seven minutes 39.55 seconds at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix in February. Expect Kenya's Hillary Kipkorir Maiyo, with a 7:45.62 season best, to give Farah a tough race.
Diamond League on CBC Sports
CBC Sports will provide live streaming coverage of all 14 Diamond League meets this season at CBCSports.ca and via the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices. TV coverage will be featured as part of the network's Road To The Olympic Games weekend broadcasts throughout the season.
The following is a list of upcoming Diamond League meets on CBCSports.ca and the CBC Sports app:
- Birmingham (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET)
- Oslo (June 9, 2 p.m. ET)
- Stockholm (June 16, 2 p.m. ET)
- Monaco (July 15, 2 p.m. ET)
- London (July 22-23, 3 p.m., 10 a.m. ET)
- Lausanne (Aug. 25, 2 p.m. ET)
- Paris (Aug. 27, 2 p.m. ET)
- Zurich (Sept. 1, 2 p.m. ET)
- Brussels (Sept. 9, 2 p.m. ET)