Former world 100m champion Yohan Blake edges out Brit Adam Gemili at the Müller Grand Prix in Birmingham

It took a photo finish to separate Yohan Blake and Adam Gemili in the 100m, but both men left the Alexander Stadium in good spirits and knowing their countdown to Doha is on track. Blake, the 2011 world champion, was given the verdict as each athlete shared the same time of 10.07. Runner-up Gemili was happy, though, as he continues his comeback from hamstring problems.

Helped by a following wind of 2.0m/sec, Mike Rodgers was third in 10.09 with fellow American Christopher Belcher fourth in 10.13. Andre De Grasse, the Olympic 100m bronze medallist from Canada, was fifth followed by Jamaican champion Tyquendo Tracey and Commonwealth gold medallist Akani Simbine of South Africa.

“It was good, it was coming,” said Blake. “The weather wasn’t great but I’m saving the big day for the World Championships and the Diamond League finals in Zurich.”

Gemili said: “It wasn’t my best start but I’m just so happy to be healthy and back up running. It’s good to be in the mix with some of the best sprinters in the world.

“To win my heat and finish second in the Diamond League race, it bodes well for the British Champs and hopefully I can make the team for Doha.  I’ve put a lot of training in this winter and I’m healthy finally.”

The men’s 800m saw a number of top domestic runners going head to head one week before the British Championships. An English man won, but it was Mark English from Ireland who timed his kick to perfection to run 1:45.94 to beat Kenya’s 1:42 man Alfred Kipketer.

Close behind, Elliot Giles won the battle of the Brits as he clocked 1:46.27 ahead of Jamie Webb, Guy Learmonth and Spencer Thomas.

In a rare race in the UK, Colorado-based Thomas Staines misjudged his effort and finished eighth, while UK junior record-holder Max Burgin found the early pace of 50.6 at the bell too hot and the 17-year-old will now make a decision over whether to tackle the British Championships back in Birmingham next weekend.

Cheng Chao-tsun, the Asian record-holder from Chinese Taipei, caused a mild upset to take the men’s javelin with 87.75m from Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic as Magnus Kirt, the 2019 world No.1 from Estonia, was third, German duo Andreas Hofmann and Thomas Rohler fourth and seventh, while London Olympics winner Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad & Tobago was last.

Akeem Bloomfield of Jamaica took the men’s 400m in 45.04 as local star Matt Hudson-Smith ran a decent 45.55 in third. It was the European champion’s first race for almost a year due to what he described a ‘career threatening injury’ sustained in the spring. But he is back on track for the British Championships and confident of getting back inside 45 seconds in Doha.

“It’s always good to be home,” said the Florida-based and Birmingham-born athlete. “I put on a good showing and it’s nice to do that. Now it’s on to the trials.”

There was another Jamaican victory in the 110m hurdles as Omar McLeod won in 13.21 (-0.2) – one 10th of a second ahead of Freddie Crittenden.

At the start of the afternoon the European champion Thomas Young, 19, continued his build up to the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai by winning the T35-38 100m in 11.37 (1.4m/sec).

Elsewhere, Yasmani Copello took the men’s 400m hurdles in 49.08 ahead of South American junior record-holder Alison Santos (49.20) while Britain’s Jacob Paul was seventh in 50.71.

Ronald Musagala of Uganda won the men’s 1500m in 3:35.12 from Stewart McSweyn of Australia and Craig Engels of the US. Chris O’Hare was the best of the Brits but only in 10th as he clocked 3:41.98.

Brandon Starc jumped 2.30m to win the high jump as home hope Chris Baker finished sixth with 2.19m.

» Read about the women’s events in Birmingham on Sunday here

» More in the August 22 issue of AW magazine