By Paul D. Bowker | Aug. 31, 2018, 12:01 a.m. (ET)
Ronnie Baker competes in the men's 100-meter at the IAAF Diamond League on July 21, 2018 in London.


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The final stop of the Diamond League season is stacked with potential dramatic finishes. Much of the drama in the Diamond League Final on Friday in Brussels, Belgium, figures to involve Americans.

Ronnie Baker has been the fastest man in the world this year with a time of 9.87 seconds in the 100-meter. He’ll face three other Americans in the field of eight: Christian Coleman, Michael Rodgers and Isiah Young.

“For me, it’s not a surprise to be the fastest man of the year,” said Baker, a former 400-meter star who has six wins this year in the 100. “It’s always been my goal to be number one.”

The women’s 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter finals both feature five Americans. Aiming for the Diamond League Trophy in the 100 hurdles are two-time Olympic medalist Dawn Harper-Nelson, world record holder Keni Harrison, Christina Manning, Olympic champion Brianna McNeal and Sharika Nelvis. Harrison defeated McNeal in Doha, Qatar, and London, but McNeal had Diamond League wins in Shanghai, Stockholm, Sweden, and Rabat, Morocco.

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Battling it out in the women’s 400 are Jessica Beard and Olympic relay gold medalists Phyllis Francis and Courtney Okolo. Jaide Stepter and Shakima Wimbley are also competing in this event.

The women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase features 2016 Olympic teammates Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs, who made U.S. history by finishing first and second, respectively, at the 2017 world championships.

Nine other U.S. women reached the finals in multiple events, including 2016 Olympian Shelby Houlihan and three-time Olympian Jenny Simpson in the 1,500-meter.

Olympic bronze medalist Sam Kendricks is one of the favorites in men’s pole vault.

The men’s triple jump features two-time Olympic champion Christian Taylor and three other Americans: Donald Scott, 2016 Olympian Chris Benard and Omar Craddock.

TV: 6 p.m. ET Friday, Olympic Channel

Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor to on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc