News10 Apr 2013

Six 2012 Olympic champions set to compete in Birmingham


Mo Farah at the 2012 Samsung Diamond League meeting in Birmingham (© Getty Images)

Great Britain’s double London 2012 Olympic Games champion Mo Farah heads a list of 11 Olympic medallists from last summer, including six winners, competing at the British Athletics Birmingham Grand Prix, an IAAF Diamond League meeting, on 30 June.

Farah will run over 5000m and is looking forward to returning to Birmingham where he was a dominant winner over Two Miles last year, and he also won over 5000m in 2011.

“2012 was an incredible year for me and I’m really looking forward to competing in front of a home crowd in the UK again. This is another big year with the World Championships just around the corner and it’s always good to perform well in Birmingham.

“I have great memories of competing at the Alexander Stadium and it was great to celebrate my Olympic success with a win there last year. I’ll be looking to run well there again and put on another good show for the fans.”

Farah’s compatriot and Olympic Long Jump winner Greg Rutherford - who got his 2013 season off to a winning start in Perth, Australia last month before jumping 8.10m at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Melbourne to add another win last Saturday - is relishing the chance to compete on home soil again.

“I’m really excited to get back to competing in front of a home crowd in Birmingham at the end of June. The experience of the Olympic Games showed me that the British fans are among the most passionate in the world, so I’m really looking forward to getting back on the runway again.

“I had a good start to the season in Perth, and I know after winning gold at the Olympics last year there will be that expectation on me to perform.

“The Long Jump is extremely competitive at the moment, which was evident by the standard at the European Indoors. However, I am confident in my ability, and irrespective of the field that I face in Birmingham, I know I have what it takes to come out on top,” said Rutherford.

US sprinter Carmelita Jeter, the second fastest woman ever over 100m, heads a list of international stars that also includes St Kitts' former World 100m champion Kim Collins, Jamaica’s Olympic Games 110m Hurdles bronze medallist Hansle Parchment, and Kemar Bailey-Cole, part of the Jamaican squad that won 4x100m Relay gold in London.

Jeter back in Birmingham

Jeter won silver over 100m and bronze in the 200m in London and was the anchor leg on the USA team that broke the 4x100m World record in London. She was victorious in a stadium record of 10.81 in Birmingham last August.

“I’ve been fortunate to run in the UK twice this year already, so it’s going to be great to come back to Birmingham for the outdoors. I ran a meeting record there last year, so hopefully I can run even faster this summer.

“2013 is a very important year for me, with the aim of retaining my world 100m crown, so having that world-class opposition in the Diamond League will set me up for Moscow and my pursuit for another gold medal,” commented Jeter.

In the field, Poland’s two-time Olympic Shot Put champion Tomasz Majewski will be up against Germany’s reigning World champion David Storl, who also won a silver medal in London, and the USA’s 2009 World champion Christian Cantwell.

Many other local British stars have signed up for the meeting.

Current World and Commonwealth 400m Hurdles champion Dai Greene will compete in his specialist event while recently crowned European indoor 400m and 4x400m Relay gold medallist Perri Shakes-Drayton will contest the women’s 400m Hurdles.

Pole vaulter Holly Bleasdale, who was also a gold medallist in Gothenburg last month, will take on the top two from London last summer: USA’s Jenn Suhr and Cuba’s Yarisley Silva.

In the men’s 800m, Olympic finalist Andrew Osagie will go head to head with Mukhtar Mohammed, who won a bronze at the European Indoor Championships last month, and the field also includes Sudan’s 2008 and 2010 World Indoor Championships 800m gold medallist Abubaker Kaki and his successor last year, Ethiopia’s Mohammed Aman.

Organisers for the IAAF

2013 IAAF Diamond League Calendar
Doha, QAT – 10 May
Shanghai, CHN – 18 May
New York, USA – 25 May
Eugene, USA – 1 Jun
Rome, ITA – 6 Jun
Oslo, NOR – 13 Jun
Birmingham, GBR – 30 Jun
Lausanne, SUI – 4 Jul
Paris, FRA – 6 Jul
Monaco, MON – 19 Jul
London, GBR – 26-27 Jul
Stockholm, SWE – 22 Aug
Zürich, SUI – 29 Aug
Brussels, BEL – 6 Sep