14 Olympic and 33 World Medallists Confirmed
A total of 14 Olympic and 33 world medallists have confirmed that they will compete at the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix, which take place on Saturday 21 February.
British athletes such as double Olympic, world and European champion Mo Farah (coach: Alberto Salazar) and Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) will be joined by an array of international stars including 60m world leader Kim Collins, 60m hurdles world record holder Aries Merritt and Carmelita Jeter, the second fastest woman of all time over 100m, at what is regarded as the world’s best indoor athletics grand prix event at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham.
Farah, who has been victorious four times at the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix previously, will compete in the final event of the afternoon as he runs in the 2 miles, an event in which he set a European record of 8:08.07 in 2012.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to competing at the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix. It is without doubt one of the best indoor events in the world and I’ve got great memories of setting three British records here over the years.”
Both 60m races will be hotly contested with European 100m champion James Dasaolu (Steve Fudge), world indoor champion Richard Kilty and recently crowned British 60m champion Chijindu Ujah (Tawiah-Dodoo) facing Collins as well as the in-form Ryan Bailey of the USA, who ran 6.50 in Seattle to go second in the world rankings last week.
In the women’s equivalent, four time world silver medallist Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast will start as favourite having run 7.05 in New York last weekend to top the world rankings. Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie) will lead the British charge, after a comfortable victory at the Sainsbury’s Indoor British Championships in Sheffield last weekend, with the 19 year old fourth on the world lists this year with a best time of 7.12.
2011 European Indoor champion Jenny Meadows (Trevor Painter) won her seventh British indoor 800m title in Sheffield last weekend and has been in great form so far in 2015 with two sub-two minute performances already to her name and will be looking for another in Birmingham.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Mike Holmes), the world’s best heptathlete in 2014, won the high jump in a new British record of 1.97m at the Sainsbury’s Indoor British Championships last weekend but will turn her hand to the long jump in Birmingham, where she will face a strong international field including Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic, who has jumped 6.78m already this year.
Another international name to look out for will be Fabiana Murer in the pole vault; the Brazilian topped the world rankings in 2014 and recently set a personal best of 4.83m.
Jodie Williams (Christine Bowmaker) and William Sharman (Jerzy Maciukiewicz) have withdrawn from the 60m and 60m hurdles respectively with minor injuries whilst Asha Philip (Steve Fudge) is focussing on an extended training block to concentrate on running 100m outdoors.