Six Olympic Champions Set to Compete in Birmingham
Double Olympic champion Mo Farah (coach: Alberto Salazar) heads a list of 11 Olympic medallists from London 2012, including six champions, competing at the British Athletics Birmingham Grand Prix at the Alexander Stadium on Sunday 30th June.
Farah will run over 5,000m in the IAAF Diamond League meet, and will be joined by Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford (Dan Pfaff), Olympic 400m silver medallist Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan) and Olympic high jump bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz (Fayyaz Ahmed).
Farah, who won Olympic gold over 10,000m as part of ‘Super Saturday’, before going on to clinch gold in the 5,000m a week later, is looking forward to returning to Birmingham where he was a dominant winner in the two miles last year and won over 5,000m 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.”
Rutherford, who got his 2013 season off to a winning start in Perth, Australia last month before jumping 8.10m in Melbourne to add another win last weekend, 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.”
Carmelita Jeter, the second fastest woman ever over 100m, heads a list of international stars that also includes former World 100m champion Kim Collins, Olympic 110m hurdles bronze medallist Hansle Parchment and Kemar Bailey-Cole, part of the Jamaica team that won 4x100m relay gold in London.
Jeter, who won silver over 100m and bronze in the 200m as well as gold as part of the USA team that broke the 4x100m world record in London, is excited about returning to the track where she was victorious in a stadium record 10.81 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.”
Current World and Commonwealth champion Dai Greene (Malcolm Arnold) will compete over 400m hurdles while recently crowned European Indoor 400m and 4x400m relay champion Perri Shakes-Drayton (Chris Zah) will contest the women’s 400m hurdles. Holly Bleasdale (Dan Pfaff, Scott Simpson), also a gold medallist in Gothenburg, will take on Olympic champion Jenn Suhr of the USA and Olympic silver medallist Yarisley Silva of Cuba in the pole vault.
2009 World Championships bronze medallist Jenny Meadows (Trevor Painter), who recently returned to action after an 18 month absence through injury, will compete over 800m. In the men’s 800m, Olympic finalist Andrew Osagie (Craig Winrow) will go head to head with Mukhtar Mohammed (Mustafa Mohammed), who won bronze at the European Indoor Championships last month, in a field that also includes two-time World Indoor Champion Abubaker Kaki of Sudan and Ethiopia’s Mohammed Aman who was sixth in London.
Olympic bronze medallist Kellie Wells will take on her American teammate and 2011 World Championships silver medallist Danielle Carruthers in the 100m hurdles.
In the field, 2010 World Indoor champion Teddy Tamgho of France will compete in the triple jump and two-time Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski of Poland will go up against David Storl, silver medallist in London, and 2009 World Champion Christian Cantwell in the shot put.
British Athletics Birmingham Grand Prix event schedule:
Men – 100m heats & final*, 800m*, 5000m*, 400m hurdles*, High jump*, Long jump*, Triple jump*, Shot*, Javelin*, 1500m, 110m hurdles heats & final
Women – 200m*, 400m*, 1500m*, 3000m steeplechase*, 100m hurdles*, Pole vault*, Discus*, 800m, 400m hurdles