Following the IAAF World Championships, some of the biggest names in athletics will compete on Sunday (August 20) at the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham, as Mo Farah prepares to run his final track race in front of a British crowd.
In the 12th Diamond League meet of the season, some athletes will celebrate their successes from the World Championships, while for others it’s an opportunity for redemption after missing out on podium spots.
Mo Farah will say his farewell to a British crowd as he heads the 3000m field in his last-ever UK track race. After becoming the 10,000m World Champion in London, Farah missed out on gold in the 5000m, finishing in second, a shock to many track fans.
The 34-year-old will end his illustrious track career at the Diamond League finals in Zurich next week, before turning his focus to the road and marathons.
Another surprising result at the championships in London came with sprint star Elaine Thompson failing to make the 100m podium. The Jamaican was a strong favourite, however, she finished a disappointing fifth place. The reigning Olympic champion will be looking to redeem herself in Birmingham.
Lining up alongside Thompson will be rival Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands. Schippers took bronze in the 100m final and defended her 200m title at the World Championships.
Schippers said: “London provided the perfect championships, and it was obviously a tight race but I am delighted to be a world champion. I am excited to be racing again here in Birmingham.”
Other familiar names racing in the women’s 100m sprint include 100m hurdles champion Sally Pearson, 400m Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo, and Great Britain’s 4x100m world silver medalists Dina Asher-Smith, Desiree Henry and Asha Philip.
In the men’s 200m sprint, many of the finalists at the World Championships go head-to-head again, including world champion Ramil Guliyev. Guliyev who earned Turkey’s first world gold medal will face Isaac Makwala of Botswana, who was embroiled in the norovirus quarantine at the World Championships.
British stars Nathaneel Mitchell-Blake and Danny Talbot will also challenge in the 200m.
23-year-old Mitchell-Blake finished 4th in the 200m and won gold in the 4x 100m at his first World Championships.
Six of the eight world finalists in the men’s 110m hurdles will take to the track, including medallists Sergey Shubenkov and Balazs Baji. They will be competing alongside Britain’s Andrew Pozzi and David King. Pozzi will be hoping to make more of an impact after only reaching the semi-finals in London.
The men’s 400m will see three of the British quartet who took bronze in the 4x400m relay, Martyn Rooney, Dwayne Cowan and Yousif Rabah line up. The trio will face the only Irish athlete at the meeting, Brian Gregan.
Gregan will be hoping to continue his fine form this season with a good performance in Alexander Stadium.
Preparing for his first appearance in a Diamond league main programme, Gregan said: “This year my mentality is that everyone in the race is human and can be beaten. I have to go in with the attitude to win but there will only be one winner.
“A top 3 finish would be a great result,” he added.
In the field events, world champion Mutaz Essa Barshim hopes to continue his ways as he takes on his fellow London 2012 Olympic medallist Robbie Grabarz of Great Britain. Grabarz will also be looking to bounce back after his disappointment of finishing sixth at the World Championships, while it will be a first Diamond League appearance for Britain’s rising star Tom Gale.
Hammer events do not form part of the Diamond League programme but tomorrow the Alexander Stadium will be host to the new competition. In a unique format, two men and two women from each country will compete with the combined distance of their best throws, which will determine the winning nation.
The British team will consist of Olympic bronze medallist Sophie Hitchon and British champion Nick Miller. They will face only two other nations, Germany and Poland.
Three-time world champion Pawel Fajdek and Joanna Fiodorow are set to compete for Poland and the Germany duo features Johannes Bichler with Carolin Paesler.