With start-lists now live, it has been confirmed that over 60 global medallists – including 10 reigning Olympic champions, two Paralympic champions and 13 reigning world champions – will be present in Birmingham for the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham at the Alexander Stadium this Sunday (18 August).
Always one of the highlights and a crowd-favourite, the men’s 100m is headed up by 60m world record holder and world silver medallist Christian Coleman (USA).
The fastest man in the world this year with a time of 9.81, competition to Coleman in Birmingham comes from Commonwealth champion Akani Simbine (RSA) and triple Olympic medallist Andre de Grasse (CAN). British interest comes in the form of 4x100m world champion Adam Gemili (GBR, coach: Rana Reider, Blackheath & Bromley) and European 4x100m champion Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Benke Blomkvist, Sutton & District).
World record holder Beatrice Chepkoech (KEN) has been dominant in the women’s 3000m steeplechase this year – so far being the only athlete to go under nine minutes this season. She is over eight seconds ahead of the second fastest athlete in the world this year, and will look to run fast in Birmingham as part of her world championships preparations.
One of the stand-out events at the Müller Anniversary Games last month, the women’s 800m in Birmingham looks to be strong once again and is led by Ajee Wilson (USA), second-quickest in the world this year. Alongside Wilson, the in-form Lynsey Sharp (GBR, David Harmer, Edinburgh), Commonwealth bronze medallist Natoya Goule (JAM) and US silver medallist Raevyn Rogers (USA) are all present, making the event one of the most highly anticipated of the programme.
With a fantastic line-up also expected in the women’s 200m, it will be all to play for as the likes of Dina Asher-Smith (GBR), two-time world champion Dafne Schippers (NED), reigning Olympic champion Elaine Thompson (JAM) and six-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM) go head to head among others in an incredible field.
In the 400m, European champion Matt Hudson-Smith (GBR) returns to action in his local stadium for the men’s 400m – his first race since September 2018. Elsewhere, in the men’s 400m hurdles, Olympic bronze medallist Yasmani Copello (TUR) is the one to watch.
The women’s long jump is set to welcome heptathlete stars Nafissatou Thiam (BEL) and Katarina Johnson-Thompson (GBR) as part of a stacked field which includes world indoor champion Ivana Spanovic (SRB) who returns to the city where she won the aforementioned title. Lorraine Ugen (GBR) is still in the hunt for a world qualifying standard and will be looking thrive on the occasion in the West Midlands.
In the men’s 110m hurdles, Olympic and world champion Omar McLeod (JAM) looks to be getting closer to his best once again but won’t have an easy race in Birmingham. Wenjun Xie (CHN) took the victory ahead of him in London and has been in strong form throughout the season.
Paralympic champions Sophie Hahn (GBR; Leon Baptiste; Charnwood) and Kadeena Cox (Matt Cullen; Sale Harriers Manchester) are among the entries for the women’s T35-38 100m. Fellow world medallists Olivia Breen (Aston Moore; City of Portsmouth) and Maria Lyle (Jamie Bowie; Team East Lothian) join the field.
In the men’s equivalent, double T38 European champion Thomas Young (Joe McDonnell; Charnwood) faces world T35 silver medallist, Jordan Howe (Christian Malcolm; DSW Para Academy).
The start lists sees a total of 60 global medallists with 10 Olympic champions and a total of 26 2016 Olympic medals among the athletes too. 13 World champions from London also feature, from both the IAAF and World Para Athletics Championships.
Unfortunately, both Andrew Pozzi (Santiago Antunez; Stratford-upon-Avon) and Mutaz Barshim (QAT) have been forced to withdraw from Sunday’s meeting, citing small and non-serious niggles.
Tickets for the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham are on sale at www.theticketfactory.com/british-athletics