USA grabbed the spotlight this week at today’s Memorial van Damme in Brussels, the final leg of the 2012 Samsung Diamond League series, when London Olympic 110m hurdles champion Aires Merritt sent Cuba’s Dayron Robles’ four-year-old high hurdles world record crashing from 12.87 to 12.80 (+0.3m/s).
In doing so, the 27-yr-old American was not pressed, as the second place winner Jason Richardson, his compatriot and Olympic silver medalist, was 0.25secs behind with 13.05. Coming in third was Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment (13.14), making the top three spots the way they were in the London Olympic final.
In addition to breaking the world record, Merritt collected $40,000 and a Diamond Trophy for accumulating 18 points in the event series.
And once again, Jamaica has some respectable performances. Double Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt, who set a 9.76 meet record in 2011, closed out his season with a 9.86 (+0.3m/s) victory in the shorter sprint. His countryman Nesta Carter was second in 9.96 and also finished second to Bolt in the Diamond Race, 18 to 8. Another Jamaican, 20-yr-old Kemar Bailey Cole, placed third in a personal best 9.97.
In the 200m race, double Olympic silver medalist Yohan Blake won in 19.54, a far cry from the 19.26 he ran last year on the same track or the 19.44 he ran at the Olympics. In second place was the consistent Jason Young f Jamaica in 19.92. Christophe Lemaitre of France was third in 20.17.
Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica, who entered the meet as the women's 400m hurdles Diamond winner, won the event in 53.69secs and confirmed her status as the most consistent hurdler on the circuit.