Some of the world’s best female sprinters will line up over 200m at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix, an IAAF Diamond League meeting, as Dina Asher-Smith takes on the likes of Allyson Felix and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce on Sunday 7 June.
Felix currently tops the 2015 200m world lists after her 21.98 in the Doha leg of the IAAF Diamond League earlier this month, the fastest time in the world since she won the Olympic title in London. But she will face a stern test from world champion and Olympic silver medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica.
Three of Felix’s eight world titles have been at 200m and she is looking forward to running over the distance at the Alexander Stadium, where she holds the stadium record of 22.19 from 2006.
“I still remember the great fans from last year’s Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix and I’m looking forward to coming back to the UK next week," said Felix. "I’m really happy with my form at the moment but I need to be at my very best again because the other girls in this race are all running well and will be ready if I slip up."
Fraser-Pryce, who was second in this race in 2013, has won a total of six world titles.
“I love competing in Birmingham and I can’t wait for the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix," she said. "The standard of 200m sprinting is incredible right now and many of the best in the world will be in this race, so I’m really looking forward to testing myself. The World Championships in Beijing are my main target but if I can win Diamond League races like the one in Birmingham it will give me great confidence ahead of Beijing."
Asher-Smith became the fastest ever British woman over 100m as she ran a time of 11.02 in Hengelo on Saturday. In Birmingham she will run her first 200m of the year with her personal best of 22.61 well in her sights.
"I’m excited to run my first 200m of the year at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix," said the 19-year-old. "I was surprised to run a British record over 100m last week but I was really happy with it and hopefully I can convert it into a good 200m in Birmingham. The field will be as good as a global final so it’s a great opportunity for me to compete against some of the best sprinters in the world.”
Organisers for the IAAF
2015 IAAF Diamond League calendar
Doha, QAT – 15 May
Shanghai, CHN – 17 May
Eugene, USA – 30 May
Rome, ITA – 4 June
Birmingham, GBR – 7 June
Oslo, NOR – 11 June
New York, USA – 13 June
Paris, FRA – 4 July
Lausanne, SUI – 9 July
Monaco, MON – 17 July
London, GBR – 24-25 July
Stockholm, SWE – 30 July
Zurich, SUI – 3 September
Brussels, BEL – 11 September