Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Diamond Debate | Race for the 400m Diamond

Published:Friday | September 9, 2016 | 9:00 AM
Natasha Hastings

Andre Lowe:

We are at the last Diamond League stop for the season, and we have a big women's 400m showdown, where Jamaican Stephenie-Ann McPherson is looking to secure the Diamond and the lucrative cash prize that goes with it.

Raymond 'KC' Graham:

Yes, she is in pole position, as with Shaunae Miller, the Olympic champion, not in the race, all she needs to do is finish ahead of the United States' Natasha Hastings, who is three points behind her.

Andre Lowe:

No, Allyson Felix isn't in this one either, but there is one person here who made it on to the Olympic podium: McPherson's training partner at MVP Shericka Jackson, who found form in Rio and also looks a good bet here as well.

Raymond 'KC' Graham:

This race means more to McPherson than Jackson, and possibly, she could be a key factor here in McPherson winning the Diamond by putting pressure on Hastings and leaving the way for McPherson to finish ahead of the American.

Andre Lowe:

Hastings will go out hard regardless of what anyone else does; it's the only way she knows how to run. More often than not, she fades badly before the line. The Jamaicans, and McPherson in particular, need to be smart and run their own races. Both can beat Hastings, even though I think the American is in generally better condition than McPherson.

Raymond 'KC' Graham:

I remember speaking to McPherson after the Paris meet, and she was very confident of winning in Brussels. Recent form in Italy where she ran sub-51 shows that she is still in good nick, while at a different meet, Hastings ran 51-plus, and this is a good sign for McPherson. I see her going all the way in winning the event and capturing her first Diamond Trophy.

Andre Lowe:

She certainly has the beating of Hastings. McPherson has finished ahead of the American in 15 of their 21 races against each other. However, Hastings has beaten the Jamaican in their last two runs. It's the first time she's beaten McPherson in back-to-back races. Like you, I think that ends today. McPherson will win in Brussels and win the Diamond Race. Jackson has clocked 52 and 51 seconds since Rio. Maybe it's a bit harder to get up to it for those 'small' races after winning Olympic bronze. McPherson has the motivation. I'm banking on her as well.