Sponsored post: The US sprint star is among the many international stars set to compete at the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham
The fastest man in the world over both 100m and 200m in 2018, Noah Lyles (USA), will top what will be a battle of the fastest men in 2018 this weekend in Birmingham.
The US national champion has proven himself to be one of the world’s best sprinters in only his second season as a professional athlete, with the 21-year-old’s national championship winning time of 9.88 seconds, the equal fastest in the world this year.
On racing in Britain for the first time at the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham, Lyles said: “I’m really excited to come over to the UK and race – it’s something that I feel like I’ve missed out on so far so to have the opportunity to come and experience the atmosphere in Birmingham is cool. It is a meet that I’m now gearing my training towards and I’m looking to run well there.”
The American, who has entertained fans with post-race black flips this season, added: “So far, I’m feeling really good and my training times are reflecting that I’m close to my PB, so I’m hopeful that come Birmingham I can run the heat well and deliver in that final.”
Joining Lyles in being confirmed for the meet in Birmingham are five fellow world-class sprinters – each of whom have run under 10 seconds in 2018 – Christian Coleman (USA), Commonwealth champion Akani Simbine (RSA) and double Olympic champion Yohan Blake (JAM), plus 9.93 man and NCAA champion Cameron Burrell (USA) and Tyquendo Tracey (JAM), the latter fresh from running his quickest ever time with 9.96 at the recent Müller Anniversary Games in London.
On the field assembled, Lyles added: “Having the top tier guys race off against each other is what makes exciting races. It’s what people want to see. I’m glad everyone is coming to Birmingham looking to post fast times against the best.”
RUTHERFORD FACES AN EMOTIONAL FAREWELL
Away from the track action, Birmingham’s meeting will see Greg Rutherford bid farewell to the city as the grand-slam champion takes to the Alexander Stadium’s runway for the final time.
In a city he has competed in 15 times over the course of his career, Rutherford’s outing this weekend will be his final competition there and his last British Athletics meet.
The 31-year-old British record-holder has struggled with injury since taking Olympic bronze in 2016 but has committed to one more stadium competition in Birmingham in order to bid farewell to many of his fans.
Olympic and world 800m champion Caster Semenya had been due to race the 1500m in Birmingham but has had to withdraw from Saturday’s meeting due to illness picked up shortly after the African Championships in Nigeria which has left her unable to train for one week and not feeling race-ready.
» The Müller Grand Prix Birmingham takes place on Saturday August 18 at the Alexander Stadium, Birmingham. Tickets are available from britishathletics.org.uk/events-and-tickets