AW promotion: All roads lead to World Championships as Laura Muir heads a star-studded 1500m London line-up and Britain’s 4x100m champions get set to fine-tune their preparations
The world championships summer is hotting up and this year’s Müller Anniversary Games, in the London Stadium on July 20-21, will have a significant part to play in the preparations of a number of Britain’s top athletes.
For example, the country’s biggest endurance star, Laura Muir, will continue her Doha build-up when she goes head to head with some of the world‘s very best distance runners over 1500m in the UK capital.
The European 1500m champion and double-double European indoor champion over 1500m and 3000m will line up against a field that includes Olympic and world 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon, European 1500m silver medallist Sofia Ennaoui, 2016 world indoor 1500m silver medallist Dawit Seyaum, 2016 world indoor 1500m bronze medallist Gudaf Tsegay, European indoor 1500m bronze medallist Ciara Mageean and European indoor 3000m silver medallist Konstanze Klosterhalfen.
The British duo of Sarah McDonald, who set a big PB for 800m at the Watford BMC Grand Prix, and Jemma Reekie complete the line-up at the event which takes place 10 weeks before the starting gun is fired on the action in Qatar.
Muir has had a superb start to her outdoor season following a fantastic indoor campaign which saw her retain both her 1500m and 3000m European indoor titles on home turf in Glasgow.
The Scottish athlete won the 1500m at the Diamond League event in Stockholm in May, then clocked a season’s best 3:56.73 in Rome a few weeks ago – her second-quickest time ever – as she finished fractionally behind Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia. She was also second in Stanford behind Kipyegon.
“This year is a huge one for me and the race at the Müller Anniversary Games is going to be a key test ahead of the world championships at the end of the summer,” she said. “It’s a really strong field so I’m anticipating a big test with a view to producing a really strong performance.
“Winning the European outdoor title last summer and defending my European indoor titles earlier this year has given me more confidence and I’m really excited about this season. The Müller Anniversary Games is 10 weeks before Doha so the countdown clock will really start ticking there and I can’t wait to get out and race.”
Relay teams get ready to go
The Müller Anniversary Games will also host some of the biggest 4x100m relay races in the world this year.
On the men’s side, two Great Britain & Northern Ireland 4x100m quartets will line up against Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Germany, Japan, Netherlands and Poland for an exciting showdown which is sure to set the London Stadium alight.
Great Britain’s men’s sprint relay teams have returned to top form with some exceptional performances in recent years.
In 2017 they produced an unforgettable display to win gold at the IAAF World Championships in London, and they have also won the 4x100m at the last three European Championships.
Britain’s women’s 4x100m relay athletes will also be lining up against some of the world’s best opposition at the event.
There will be two British teams taking on Germany, China, Denmark, Australia, Poland and Brazil. Competition will be strong again to secure selection for the Great Britain sprint side, which will be hoping to continue the form which saw Asha Philip, Imani Lansiquot, Bianca Williams and Dina Asher-Smith race to victory at the European Championships in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium last year.
A string of great performances in recent years, which include a 4x100m silver medal at the IAAF World Championships in London in 2017 and Olympic bronze in Rio the year before, have established this latest generation of British female sprinters as a relay team to beat on the global stage.
Tickets for British Athletics’ 2019 outdoor season are on general sale via theticketfactory.com/british-athletics