Elaine Thompson en route to her 6.98 win in Birmingham (© Getty Images)
Jamaica's five-time Olympic gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah is to star in the 60m at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix – a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting – at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham on Saturday 19 February.
Champion in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m in Tokyo, Thompson-Herah is the Jamaican record-holder and second-fastest woman of all time over 100m (10.54) and 200m (21.53). Her incredible CV also includes an Olympic silver, in addition to a World Championships relay title and 200m silver in 2015. A World Indoor Championships bronze medallist over 60m, she has a personal best of 6.98.
“I’m so excited to race in Birmingham to start my 2022 campaign,” said the 29-year-old. “I have enjoyed competing in the UK over the years and there is always a special atmosphere at this venue. I ran my PB at this arena in 2017, so competing here means a lot to me.
“This year is a huge one. I have big goals for the World Athletics Championships later this summer, but first I’d like to give fans something to cheer about in Birmingham.”
The world record stands at 6.92, set by Irina Privalova in 1993, and both Thompson-Herah and silver medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran faster than the world record mark on their way to winning their Olympic 100m medals in Tokyo.
In Birmingham Thompson-Herah will be joined by Britain's two-time Olympic bronze medallist Daryll Neita, who also had a strong year in 2021. Last year she recorded lifetime best performances over 100m (10.93) and 200m (22.81) and finished eighth in the Olympic 100m final in Tokyo. Her 60m best is 7.21 from February 2021.
“I’ve matured a lot as an athlete over the last couple of years and my mindset has really developed,” she said. “In training I would imagine having the top girls in the world next to me and now I’m racing against them, so I know I belong here.
“The last time I raced Elaine indoors was in Birmingham in 2017 when she won, and I was fifth. Although she remains faster than me, I have to believe that the gap has closed since then and that with the backing of our brilliant British supporters, I can be more competitive this time around.”
The Müller Indoor Grand Prix is the fifth World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting of 2022. There are seven Gold level meetings across the series, starting with Karlsruhe on 28 January and culminating in Madrid on 2 March.
Other athletes set to compete in Birmingham include Olympic pole vault champion Mondo Duplantis, world indoor 60m hurdles record-holder Grant Holloway, Olympic 1500m silver medallist Laura Muir and Olympic 800m silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson.
Organisers for World Athletics