The world’s best female sprinters will line up over 200m at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix on Sunday 7 June as the new British 100m record holder Dina Asher-Smith takes on the likes of Allyson Felix and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
American Felix currently tops the world 200m rankings after running an incredible 21.98 at the Doha leg of the IAAF Diamond League but the eight-time world champion and reigning Olympic champion will face a stern test from current world champion and Olympic silver medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica.
Three of Felix’s eight world titles have been at 200m and the 29 year old is looking forward to running over the distance at the Alexander Stadium, where she holds the stadium record of 22.19 from 2006.
She said: “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. 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. Hopefully I can put in another good performance and it will be a great race.”
Fraser-Pryce, who was second in this race in 2013, has won a total of six world titles and will be targeting another when she heads to Beijing in August.
She said: “I love competing in Birmingham and I can’t wait for the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix. 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 female over 100m as she ran a time of 11.02 in Hengelo last weekend and will run her first 200m of the year with her personal best of 22.61 well in her sights.
The 19 year old said: “I’m excited to run my first 200m of the year at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix. 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.”