Justin Gatlin put down an early marker ahead of next year's World Championships with a stunning sprint double at the Memorial Van Damme meeting in Brussels on Friday evening. The high class annual event is in honour of the late Belgian middle distance athlete, Ivo Van Damme. 
With no Usain Bolt on show it was a chance for someone else to shine and Gatlin did just that with a swift 9.77 seconds world leading time in the 100m followed by an equally impressive 19.71 secs in the 200m an hour later. The 100m was the highlight of the meeting as Gatlin led three other men under 10 seconds, with American Michael Rodgers 2nd, followed closely by the two Jamaican powerhouses Asafa Powell 3rd and Commonwealth Games Champion Kemar Bailey Cole only 4th this time but in a season's best of 9.96 secs. Euro Champ James Dasaolu also ran a season's best 10 seconds but was only fifth. 
Not that the Diamond League event didn't have other world class performances to boast about. The men's high jump was a classy affair and it took a world leading performance to claim victory as Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar stunned reigning World Champion Bondarenko to leap a World leading 2.43m. The Ukrainian leapt well to clear 2.40m himself, with Olympic Champion Ukhov back in third. 
Allysson Felix continued her comeback to somewhere near her very best by running a world leading 22.02 seconds to take the women's 200m ahead of European stars Soumare and Schippers. Felix tore a hamstring last year in the Moscow World Champs and it has been a steady rather than spectacular season for her so far. 
There was another World Leading mark set in the men's 3000m steeplechase, with Euro Champs' 'bad boy' Mekhissi Benabbad having to settle for second, almost five seconds behind Kenyan Jairus Kipchoge Birech's excellent 7:58.41 that placed him in the top ten of all time.

America's paralympic star Richard Browne reveled in the opportunity to compete in the meeting and set a new World Record in his 'Blade Runners' 200m event of 21.62 secs.

Several World Leading performances were set on the night, including New Zealander Valerie Adams' 20.59m in the women's shot, Renaud Lavillenie in the men's pole vault with 5.93m and Barbora Spotakova throwing 67.99m in the women's javelin. Brenda Martinez of the USA took a competitive women's 800m in 1:58.84 with GB's Lynsey Sharp 2nd just a tenth behind, continuing her excellent season to edge out Eunice Sum her Commonwealth Games' conqueror in the same time. Pascal Martinot-Lagarde put a slightly disappointing Euro Champs' bronze medal performance behind him with a win in the men's 110m hurdles in 13.08 seconds.