A look ahead to this weekend’s athletics action at the Olympic Stadium which includes the two-day Diamond League meeting and the IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final
Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games action returns to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this weekend (July 24-26) for three days of IAAF Diamond League and IPC Grand Prix Final track and field.
Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill lead the entries for a dazzling line-up on Friday evening to kick things off, while on Saturday, Ennis-Hill returns to compete in a further two events and Greg Rutherford is another reigning Olympic champion on parade. On the third action-packed day, David Weir, Richard Whitehead and Hannah Cockroft are among the Paralympic athletes competing.
Here we highlight just a few of the events on offer over the next three days. Check out the July 23 edition of Athletics Weekly magazine, available in shops now or to read digitally here, for a much more in-depth preview.
Women’s 100m hurdles – Friday, 20:41
A power-packed line-up is ready to take its marks but this event has featured a number of disasters in the shape of DQs and falls in 2015, so expect the unexpected. Americans Jasmin Stowers, Dawn Harper-Nelson, Sherika Nelvis, Lolo Jones and Brianna Rollins face Britain’s Tiffany Porter and sister Cindy Ofili, plus Jessica Ennis-Hill in an Anglo-American clash.
Men’s 200m – Friday, 20:53
Zharnel Hughes once again gets the chance to show the British public what he’s capable of. After winning the British 200m title recently he took Diamond League victory in Lausanne and now, in London, he faces a host of top sprinters such as Dedric Dukes, a 19.99 American from this season, plus Nickel Ashmeade and Anaso Jobodwana.
Men’s 100m final – Friday, 21:29
Usain Bolt faces world-class international sprinters as he makes his return from a brief injury lay-off. The world record-holder has not raced since the New York Diamond League in June and this will be his first 100m since April. In London he will not face world No.1 Justin Gatlin – the American not invited by the organisers due to his history of failed drugs tests – but his opposition includes Commonwealth champion Kemar Bailey-Cole from Jamaica, British champion CJ Ujah, European champion James Dasaolu, world indoor champion Richard Kilty, plus Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, James Ellington and European junior gold medallist Ojie Edoburun. In-form Jimmy Vicaut, who ran a French record of 9.86 recently, and Mike Rodgers, Nesta Carter, Ryan Bailey and Kim Collins add to the quality, with two heats taking place ahead of a final.
Men’s 3000m – Friday, 21:43
Mo Farah is up against Yenew Alamirew of Ethiopia as he looks for a confidence-boosting win in his last race before the IAAF World Championships in Beijing. Farah’s own stadium record of 7:36.85 could come under threat. Also in the field are super-vet Bernard Lagat and Chris Derrick of the United States and European indoor silver medallist Lee Emanuel.
Women’s long jump – Saturday, 13:45
A terrific line-up gets Saturday’s events underway with heptathletes Jessica Ennis-Hill, Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Morgan Lake versus long jump specialists Shara Proctor, Jazmin Sawyers and Lorraine Ugen, plus Americans Janay Deloach and Funmi Jimoh. Ennis-Hill also later faces the likes of Candyce McGrone, Tori Bowie and Olympic 400m champion Sanya Richards-Ross over 200m.
Men’s long jump – Saturday, 15:35
Olympic, European and Commonwealth champion Greg Rutherford takes on American Marquis Dendy, who has jumped a windy 8.68m this season, and Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor, plus Mike Hartfield of the United States and Britain’s Dan Bramble.
Men’s 800m – Saturday, 16:23
Nijel Amos beat David Rudisha to the Commonwealth title last year and they enjoy a rematch in London this weekend. Yet they are far from alone and the field includes American sensation Boris Berian, European junior champion and current AW cover star Kyle Langford and his fellow Brit Michael Rimmer.
Women’s 100m final – Saturday, 16:54
British record-holder Dina Asher-Smith faces another big test as some of the best sprinters in the world gather in London. They include Murielle Ahoure, Dafne Schippers, English Gardner, Jeneba Tarmoh, Blessing Okagbare and Tianna Bartoletta. Asher-Smith is not the lone Brit, though, as she is set to be joined by Desiree Henry, Louise Bloor, Darryll Neita and Jodie Williams.
Men’s T44 100m – Sunday, 14:10
This sprint could see a world record as London 2012 gold medallist Jonnie Peacock faces silver medallist Richard Browne, who is aiming to lower his 10.78 second world best and extend his year-long winning streak.
Women’s T34 400m – Sunday, 15:08
Hannah Cockroft, the Paralympic 100m and 200m champion, races 400m as she prepares for a treble in Doha in October and next year’s Rio 2016 Paralympics. Among those lining up alongside her are GB team-mates Paige Murray, Kare Adenegan and Melissa Nicholls, as well as the double London 2012 silver medallist Amy Siemons from the Netherlands and Djami Diallo (Canada), Desiree Vranken (Nederlands) and Alexa Halko (USA).
Men’s T42 200m – Sunday, 15:18
World champion and world record-holder Richard Whitehead will be looking for the strength and support from the crowd that saw him surge from behind to win the London 2012 gold medal. He goes against Regas Woods of the United States, the fastest in the world this year, and Army officer David Henson, who won the 2014 Invictus Games and captained the British team.
Men’s T54 1500m – Sunday, 16:15
The head-to-head clash between David Weir, winner of four gold medals at London 2012, and Swiss arch-rival Marcel Hug will be hotly anticipated. Hug, the world and European T54 1500m champion and world record-holder, will be looking to inflict his first defeat against the ‘Weirwolf’ in a major track race.
» Full startlists can be found here. There will be live coverage of the event on the BBC. Check out the July 23 edition of Athletics Weekly magazine, available in shops now or to read digitally here, for a much more in-depth preview.