Caster Semenya wins the 800m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco (© Philippe Fitte)
Triple world and double Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya has been confirmed as the next headline star due to compete at the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham IAAF Diamond League fixture on Saturday 18 August.
Serving as her first ever race in Birmingham, the South African star will compete over 1500m at the Alexander Stadium, eager to build upon her UK successes following her triumphs at the London 2012 Olympics and last summer’s IAAF World Championships.
“It has been such an amazing 12 months for me and I cannot wait to continue it by competing back in the UK again and in Birmingham for the first time ever," Semenya said. She may be targeting her own South African record time of 3:59.92 she set at the IAAF Diamond League opener in Doha in early May.
The 27-year-old is expected to emerge as one of the biggest stars at the African Championships which begin today in Asaba, Nigeria, where she'll compete in at least three events and possibly four if the amended schedule will allow.
Among those joining Semenya in the Birmingham race is five-time world medallist Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands. Hassan impressively won the inaugural Millicent Fawcett mile in London less than two weeks ago in a time of 4:14.71, the fourth quickest women’s mile time in history, and is sure to relish returning to Birmingham having set Dutch records on her previous two outings in the city.
Also set to be present is Ethiopia's Gudaf Tsegay, an athlete who carries extraordinary range with sub-2:00, sub-4:00 and sub-15:00 minute personal best times for 800m, 1500m and 5000m respectively, while world finalists Winny Chebet of Kenya, and Laura Weightman and Sarah McDonald of Breat Britain will also be in the hunt.
Organisers and Bob Ramsak for the IAAF