The Olympic 400m champion is to return to race in Birmingham where he will take on local star Hudson-Smith and Olympic 800m silver medallist Nijel Amos

Kirani James says the Birmingham Diamond League will again form an important part of his summer schedule as he works towards Rio and the defence of his Olympic 400m title.

The 23-year-old has been announced as part of a strong field for the event on June 5, with Olympic 800m silver medallist Nijel Amos, Asian record-holder Yousef Masrahi, former African record-holder and sub-44 second man Isaac Makwala and local star Matthew Hudson-Smith also among those set to compete over one lap of the Alexander Stadium track.

“2016 is a really big year for me and I want to retain my Olympic title,” said 43.74 400m runner James, who is sure to have his eye on the 19-year-old stadium record of 44.36 when he returns to the West Midlands of England.

“The Birmingham Diamond League will be an important part of my build-up to Rio and I’m looking forward to racing against some very good athletes.

“I love competing in Britain and I’m excited about putting on a good show for the fans.”

European silver medallist Hudson-Smith, who trains at the Alexander Stadium, will be looking to put his injury problems of 2015 even further behind him when he takes to his local track.

“Getting injured last summer was a big disappointment for me but I’m now feeling good and looking forward to competing at such a big event and getting ready for such an important season,” said the 21-year-old.

“I can’t wait to compete at the Birmingham Diamond League, it’s always special for me to be able to compete on the track where I train nearly every day.

“It will be great to test myself against a great field, particularly Kirani James who I have really looked up to for the last few years.”