Leading British athletes Christine Ohuruogu and Dina Asher-Smith continued their countdown to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games by outlining their hopes for the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Birmingham on Sunday (5).
Former Olympic and world champion Ohuruogu will compete in the 400m alongside fellow British internationals Anyika Onuora and Seren Bundy-Davies, both of whom formed part of the 4x400m team that took the bronze medal alongside Ohuruogu at IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015.
“I’m aiming for my fourth Olympic Games and everything has been going well in training. I’ve just come back from Florida which was nice and hot and then I come back here and it’s cold! But it’s always great to compete in the UK as the fans are so knowledgeable and passionate about athletics. All the athletes are always pleased to come and run in Birmingham because there is such a great atmosphere,” said Ohuruogu on Friday.
“The 400m is always exciting and competitive. There is a good familiarity about it and good respect between us all so I’m really looking forward to Sunday,” added the 2008 Olympic champion over one lap of the track as well as the 2007 and 2013 400m world champion.
At the age of 19 last summer, Asher-Smith became Britain’s fastest ever 100m sprinter, breaking the seven-year-old British record with a time of 10.99 at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in London. She also holds the British record over 200m having broken the previous mark at in Beijing, but she competes in the shorter sprint in Birmingham.
“I only opened my season last week, but I’ve focused on the mistakes I’ve been making since I was 15 and I’m hoping to pull those together and execute my race better in Birmingham. Hopefully, it’ll be a really big year. I want to continue my progression as an athlete and produce my best on Sunday,” said Asher-Smith.
The 20-year-old Briton will take on a stellar 100m field including the Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers, the 2015 200m world champion and European 200m record holder, and US sprinter Tianna Bartoletta.
Organisers for the IAAF
2016 IAAF Diamond League calendar
6 May – Doha, QAT
14 May – Shanghai, CHN
22 May – Rabat, MAR
28 May – Eugene, USA
2 Jun – Rome, ITA
5 Jun – Birmingham, GBR
9 Jun – Oslo, NOR
16 Jun – Stockholm, SWE
15 Jul – Monaco, MON
22-23 Jul – London, GBR
25 Aug – Lausanne, SUI
27 Aug – Paris, FRA
1 Sep – Zurich, SUI
9 Sep – Brussels, BEL