The 2013-2016 IAAF Strategic Plan has six Core Values: universality, leadership, unity, excellence, integrity and solidarity, and a Vision Statement: “To lead, govern and develop the sport of athletics in all its forms worldwide, uniting the Athletics Family in a spirit of excellence, integrity and solidarity.”
Following the U.S. athletics team’s successful ten day stay in Birmingham for their pre-Olympic training camp, World champions Carmelita Jeter and Jason Richardson will headline an array of U.S. stars that will be returning to the city for the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix at the Alexander Stadium on Sunday 26 August.
Jeter, the second fastest woman of all time, will be competing over 100m, whilst Richardson will line up for the 110m Hurdles at Britain’s final Samsung Diamond League meeting of the season.
The 32-year-old Jeter, who won gold in the 100m and silver in the 200m at last year’s World Championships in Daegu, is excited about returning to Birmingham to race at the track where she competed over 200m at last year’s Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix.
“Birmingham has been like a home away from home for the US track team. Everybody is always so hospitable and they always give us a warm British welcome. It’s clear that they love their athletics over here so it will be great to repay the community at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix.”
“I enjoyed running there last year in front of a full stadium, the crowd was really behind us all. Having spent so much time in the UK this summer, competing at the Diamond League meet on 26 August will be a great way to finish off our time here after the Olympic Games.”
Richardson, the only 110m hurdler ever to have run under 13 seconds twice on the same day, believes that competing in Birmingham will be the perfect way to sign off the British experience for so many of America’s best athletes this summer.
“I’m really excited about competing in Birmingham for the first time. I’m expecting an amazing atmosphere at the Games and I think it will be the same in Birmingham after new Olympic champions have been crowned. Hopefully I’ll be coming back to Birmingham after a successful London 2012 and be able put on a good display for all the fans who have supported us.”
Leading the challenge against Richardson when he competes in Birmingham will be fellow American David Oliver, the 110m hurdles Olympic bronze medallist four years ago who narrowly missed out on qualification for the Games at the American trials in June.
Jeter, meanwhile, will line up against a world class field that will include 2005 World 100m Champion Lauryn Williams and newly crowned European 100m champion Ivet Lalova. Jeter finished third in a highly competitive women’s 200m race at last year’s Birmingham Grand Prix, in which the top three were separated by just three hundredths of a second.
Both athletes are favoured to medal in their respective events at London 2012. Jeter, who has run the second fastest time in the world in 2012 with 10.81, will need to get past African Champion Blessing Okagbare and Jamaican record holder Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce on 4 August, whilst Richardson will take on in-form compatriot Aries Merritt and China’s Liu Xiang in the 110m Hurdles final on 8 August.
Further American Olympians returning to the West Midlands for Birmingham Grand Prix will include World 1500m champion Jenny Simpson, World 1500m bronze medallist Matt Centrowitz and Mo Farah’s training partner, Galen Rupp.