Diamond League in early June is set to witness a special sprints showdown
Mo Farah has already been confirmed for the Birmingham Diamond League for Sunday June 5 but British Athletics has announced another dozen big names for their event.
These include British 100m record holder Dina Asher-Smith, who will compete in the 100m against world 200m champion Dafne Schippers.
Asher-Smith said: “I’m so excited to be running at the Birmingham Diamond League on June 5th! I had so much fun last year and it was a great opportunity to be able to race against some of the best women in the world. I expect it to be a strong field and I’m looking forward to challenging myself over the 100m.”
Schippers will compete at the Alexander Stadium for the first time and will looking to make amends for her surprise defeat at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland last month.
The Dutch athlete said: “2016 is a very important year for me with the Olympic Games taking place in Brazil. The Birmingham Diamond League will be a good race to test myself early in the season and start the road to Rio. I’m looking forward to competing in front of another great British crowd and hopefully continuing my form from last year into this summer.”
Another sprinter worth watching is European 200m champion Adam Gemili. In his last race in Birmingham he finished second with a time of 9.97.
The Blackheath and Bromley athlete said: “Last year running sub ten for the first time in front of the Birmingham crowd was an amazing experience. I’m looking forward to returning to Birmingham in June to test myself against a strong field over 100m and set myself up for such an important season.”
The 800m world record-holder David Rudisha will run a 600m in Birmingham as he prepares to defend his Olympic 800m title won in impressive style in world record time in London. The Kenyan said: “I loved running 600, at the Birmingham Diamond League in 2014 and I’m really looking forward to doing it again on 5 June. The athletes always get amazing support at British events and running 600m is a good part of my preparations this Olympic Year. My training has been going well and I am looking forward to a good year.”
Another Kenyan competing will be three-time world 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop. He said: “I have great memories of winning the mile at the Birmingham Diamond League in 2014 and hopefully I can run well again this year. 2016 is a huge year for me; I want to win back the Olympic title and challenge my PB, Birmingham will be an important race for me to see how my training has been going.”
European 800m champion Lynsey Sharp, who enjoyed a breakthrough performance to win the 2014 Birmingham Diamond League over 800m, will be up against another stellar two-lap field in world indoor champion Francine Niyonsaba, 2013 world champion Eunice Sum, world indoor silver medallist Ajee Wilson and world indoor 1500m champion Sifan Hassan.
Sharp said: “I’m really looking forward to facing such a strong field at the Birmingham Diamond League in June. I’ve got great memories of winning in Birmingham in 2014 and hopefully I can run well again this time round. Everything is geared towards Rio and this is an important race in my build up.”
European 100m hurdles champion Tiffany Porter competes in the 100m hurdles against another top-class field.
It’s not just track stars in action though. New Zealand’s Valerie Adams, the two-time Olympic shot put champion holds the stadium record and has won in Birmingham twice in the past.
» For tickets to the Birmingham Diamond League, visit britishathletics.org.uk