Olympic champions David Rudisha, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Carmelita Jeter and Ashton Eaton are just a few of the latest names to confirm that they will compete at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix at Hampden Park on 11-12 July, the first of two British legs of the IAAF Diamond League.
In one of the greatest fields ever assembled in the UK, they will be joined in Glasgow by a whole host of current and former global champions, including distance runner Mo Farah, 400m hurdler Felix Sanchez, high jumpers Anna Chicherova and Blanka Vlasic, pole vaulter Jenn Suhr, sprint hurdlers Dayron Robles and Aries Merritt, 400m runners Christine Ohuruogu and Amantle Montsho, shot putter Tomasz Majewski, discus thrower Sandra Perkovic, javelin throwers Andreas Thorkildsen and Keshorn Walcott, long jumper Greg Rutherford, triple jumper Christian Taylor and sprint hurdlers Brianna Rollins and Sally Pearson.
With the USA and a host of other nations not competing at the Commonwealth Games, the meeting will offer fans the chance to see the world’s best competing at Hampden Park in the first ever IAAF Diamond League meeting staged in Scotland.
Rudisha will be making his first appearance in the UK since breaking the 800m world record on his way to Olympic gold in London, and he marked his return to form with a triumph at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in New York last weekend.
“I haven’t competed in the UK since winning gold at the Olympics, so to return to the UK for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix is something that I’m really excited about,” said the 25-year-old.
“Winning gold at the Olympic Games and being the first ever athlete to go below the 1:41 barrier is my biggest achievement to date. Having only just returned to track action, my victory at the New York Diamond League has given me a lot of confidence and something which I will take with me to Hampden Park.
“The Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will give me the best possible preparation for the Commonwealth Games. I know the field will include not only the best athletes in the Commonwealth, but the world too. I know I will have to perform at my best to secure another victory on the Diamond League circuit.”
Jeter, the second-fastest woman of all time over 100m, will return to the UK after winning a complete set of medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The US sprinter – who won 4x100m gold, 100m silver and 200m bronze in the Olympic Stadium – is excited at the prospect of running in one of the best line-ups staged in the UK.
“The Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will be one of the first meets of my outdoor season and I’m looking to put on a good show for the crowd in July,” said the 34-year-old. “Even four weeks out, we have multiple Olympic and world champions confirmed for the event, which shows how high the standard will be and something which I will relish, being an athlete that thrives on the big stage.
“With the standard of women’s sprinting improving all the time, I’ve got to have my eyes on all seven of the athletes that line up against me on the start line at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix.
“The British crowd always treat me as one of their own and that is the main reason why I keep on coming back year after year.”
Eaton, meanwhile, not only won Olympic gold in London, but also triumphed at last year’s IAAF World Championships before going on to successfully defend his world indoor heptathlon crown in Sopot in March.
With no major championships scheduled for the 26-year-old in 2014, Eaton has opted to try his hand at the 400m hurdles this year, and will be looking to take the scalps of another world-class field in Glasgow.
The decathlon world record-holder made another piece of history this month in Oslo by becoming the first decathlete to win an individual event at an IAAF Diamond League meeting, as the US all-rounder took a notable victory over 2011 world bronze medallist LJ Van Zyl and has since lowered his personal best to 48.94 after just six races.
“2014 will give me a chance to recharge my batteries ahead of the World Championships in 2015 and Rio 2016, where I will be looking to defend my decathlon titles,” he said.
“To have the opportunity to compete in the UK is something that I will relish. I have established myself in the decathlon as the one to beat, and I’m looking to continue this throughout the course of the outdoor season in the individual events.
“My aim is to go quicker still at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix; I want to keep pushing myself to the limit to see how far inside 49 seconds I can go. I know from Oslo that I can contend with a world-class field, but I’m expecting an even bigger test in Glasgow in July.”
Organisers for the IAAF
2014 IAAF Diamond League calendar
Doha, QAT – 9 May
Shanghai, CHN – 18 May
Eugene, USA – 31 May
Rome, ITA – 5 Jun
Oslo, NOR – 11 Jun
New York, USA – 14 Jun
Lausanne, SUI – 3 Jul
Paris, FRA – 5 Jul
Glasgow, GBR – 11-12 Jul
Monaco, MON – 18 Jul
Stockholm, SWE – 21 Aug
Birmingham, GBR – 24 Aug
Zurich, SUI – 28 Aug
Brussels, BEL – 5 Sep