Sparks fly at Ivo Van Damme Memorial in Brussels

American Christian Coleman proved he is this year's king of the sprinters when he set a season's best 9.79 seconds in the 100 metres on Friday to take the Diamond League title in Brussels. (Reporting  by Reuters)

American Christian Coleman proved he is this year's king of the sprinters when he set a season's best 9.79 seconds in the 100 metres on Friday to take the Diamond League title in Brussels.

Following his world record and World Indoor championship victory at 60m earlier in 2018, Coleman flew out of the blocks on Friday and kept up the momentum to clock a personal best time.

Compatriot Ronnie Baker, who had set the previous fastest 100m of the year nine days ago, was second in 9.93 seconds, Jamaica's Yohan Blake third a further hundredth of a second back.

Coleman, silver medallist at last year's World Championships in London, suffered hamstring injuries for much of the outdoor season, but said he arrived in Brussels finally fit and with scores to settle.

"I feel really good. I came into the whole week with a chip on my shoulder that people had stopped talking about me. They forgot everything I did last year and at the indoors. I mean you can't blame them," he said.

Asked whether he was now the "boss of the sprint", he replied: "I guess so".

"I guess I'm at the top of the leader board right now, but a lot of guys are shooting for the top spot. You've got to stay healthy, be on my A game and keep getting better," he said.

Brussels was hosting the second part of the Diamond League finals, a day after the first part in Zurich, with all event winners securing $50,000.

Colombia's Caterine Ibarguen proved the week's biggest winner, following triple jump success in Zurich by a centimetre on Thursday with long jump victory in Brussels on Friday.

Ibarguen said she left her hotel in Switzerland at 5 am to reach Brussels in time for her event, adding she planned to share some of her winnings with her family and on a holiday.

Ethiopia's Selemon Barega also set a personal and season's best time in the men's 5,000m, sprinting into the lead in the final half lap to win in 12 minutes 43.02 seconds. He celebrated the win with a victory dance.

In other highlights, neutral athlete Timur Morgunov won a closely fought men's pole vault by clearing 5.93m. European champion Armand Duplantis finished a disappointing seventh with his best effort being 5.68m.

On the track, Kenya's Beatrice Chepkoech led from halfway through the women's 3,000m steeplechase to set a meet record 8:55.10.

In the women's 100m hurdles, there has been little to separate Olympic champion Brianna McNeal from fellow American and world record holder Kendra Harrison all season. On Friday McNeal took the title in 12.61 seconds, beating her rival by just two hundredths of a second.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Clare Fallon and Pritha Sarkar

AFP or licensors

flandersnews sportsdesk adds: The Memorial was also an opportunity for Belgians to showcase their abilities.  Some were more successful than others.  Nafi Thiam won the high jump, but the big surprise came from Jonathan Sacoor, who beat star and training mater Kevin Borlée in the 400 metres.

Dylan Borlée soon had to give up in the 400metres, while Jonathan Sacoor and Kevin Borlée duelled to the delight of the crowds.  Cheek by jowl they raced the final metres until Sacoor edged ahead. Sacoor: "I never believed I would beat him here!"

Thiam wasn't in top condition but managed to jump 1m89: "I'm chiefly here to celebrate with the fans.  It was a long and exhausting season."