Renaud Lavillenie at the 2015 IAAF Diamond League meeting in London (© Kirby Lee)
Organisers of the Müller Anniversary Games have announced that 33 reigning Olympic and World Championships medallists will join Usain Bolt and Jessica Ennis-Hill on the first day of the IAAF Diamond League meeting in London on 22-23 July.
The Friday night will see Usain Bolt will face Great Britain’s talented trio of Adam Gemili, Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and Zharnel Hughes in what is expected to be the fastest 200m ever staged in the UK.
British eyes will also be focused on world and Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill who faces a world-class 100m hurdles field including world leader Kendra Harrison.
The men’s 100m is set to be another highlight of the Friday night with fastest man in the world in 2016, France’s Jimmy Vicaut, taking on European 100m champion James Dasaolu and his fellow Briton Chijindu Ujah.
Another British athlete in top form is Laura Muir, who won the British 1500m title in impressive fashion last weekend and who is aiming to challenge Kelly Holmes’ British record of 3:57.90. She will face her compatriot Laura Weightman as well as Commonwealth 5000m champion Mercy Cherono and 2012 world indoor 3000m champion Hellen Obiri.
The field events will be equally strong with world record-holder and Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie competing against world champion Shawn Barber in the pole vault.
Croatia’s two-time world champion Blanka Vlasic will make her first appearance at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and will face stiff competition from Spain’s two-time European champion Ruth Beitia as well as the British duo of Morgan Lake and Isobel Pooley.
Doyle looking for more Diamond Race success
Eilidh Doyle has been in great form during 2016 and will be hoping to clinch her second IAAF Diamond League 400m hurdles win of the summer on home turf.
The evening will climax with the women’s 4x100m relay where the talented British squad, who won gold at the 2014 European Championships, will take on Jamaica.
Other notable competitors on a thrilling Friday night in London next month include 2008 Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop, who will be aiming to win his third successive Emsley Carr Mile, Sanya Richards-Ross, who will be returning to the venue of her 2012 gold medal triumph in the 400m, Kenya’s world javelin champion Julius Yego, and world and Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor.
“Coming exactly four years after the start of the London Olympics, the Müller Anniversary Games will be the one of the highlights of the British summer of sport and evoke great memories of 2012,” said UK Athletics chief executive Niels de Vos.
"Staged exactly two weeks before the Rio Olympic Games, the athletes will be in incredible form and will put everything on the line to be ready for Rio. The field is shaping up to be the best assembled anywhere in the world this year and the Friday night will see an exceptional array of global stars on show.”
Staged at the former Olympic Stadium, the Müller Anniversary Games will provide the final races for many of the world’s best athletes before they head to Rio for the Olympic Games and has being dubbed by organisers as ‘Rio in a weekend’.
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