Olympic champions, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Allyson Felix would likely face each other in the women’s 200m event at the Diamond League meet in Birmingham on Sunday. However, there is a doubt over Fraser-Pryce’s participation, after the Jamaican pulled out in Rome with a slight injury.
If Fraser-Pryce eventually starts the 200m race on Sunday, it will be her first in this event this season, having competed in the 100m races in Shanghai and Eugene, winning in the latter city with a World Lead (WL) of 10.81s. Pocket-Rocket Fraser-Pryce, started her Diamond League season with a fifth place finish in Shanghai posting a below par 11.25s in the 100m, a race won by Blessing Okagbare in 10.98s.
Felix on her part has had an excellent start in the Diamond League this season, winning in Doha with a WL and Meeting Record (MR) of 21.98s, equalling the Diamond League Record (DLR) set by Veronica Campbell-Brown in 2010. That feat is the fastest 200m time since the London 2012 Olympic Games, and incidentally it was achieved by Felix. Both athletes hardly come up against each other except in a Championship final, makes it more interesting as they would want to win the bragging rights in the fifth leg of the Diamond League series.
There will be a lot of expectation on World Junior Champion Dina Asher-Smith, who will be lining up alongside her national teammate Jodie Williams, in the 200m event. Both athletes will be hoping for an impressive outing in front of their home fans, but most of the spotlight will be on Asher-Smith who recently broke the British National Record in the 100m in Hengelo, in 11.02s.
Another event to keep an eye on is the women’s 100m hurdles. With this particular race ending in strange circumstances in Rome, leaving Olympic Champion, Sally Pearson hospitalised and needing surgery after she landing awkwardly, this race will be watched with bated breath. Current world leader Jasmin Stowers who did not finish the race in Rome will be hoping for some redemption, as she will still be the favourite in this race. British record holder, Tiffany Porter who finished 3rd in Rome will also be in action, as well as 2013 World Champion Brianna Rollins equally in the line-up.
The men’s 100m promises to be another exciting clash as it features four sub-10 runners this year: Mike Rodgers (9.93s), Marvin Bracy (9.95s), Nestar Carter (9.98s) and Kim Collins (9.99s). Home favourite Chijindu Ujah and Keston Bledman of Trinidad and Tobago are also billed to compete.
Commonwealth Champion Jamaica’s Stephanie Ann-Mcpherson, would hope to capitalize on the absence of American duo of Sanya Richards-Ross and Francena McCorory in the 400m as she goes against countrywoman Christine Day, GBR’s Anyika Onoura and former World Champion Jessica Beard of USA.
Mo Farah will be headlining the middle-distant events as he competes in the 1500m for the first time this season, while Botswana national record holder Nijel Amos, would be hoping to get his first win in the Diamond League this year in the men’s 800m.
There is a Nigerian interest to look forward to, with Tosin Oke competing in the men’s Triple Jump event. This will be his second appearance in the Diamond League this year, and he would be hoping for a new SB and also making the qualification cut for the World Championships.
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