16 August, 2019

Muller Grand Prix Birmingham: What to watch out for

Sunday’s Muller Grand Prix Birmingham is set to be a stunner as the world’s top athletes in track & field descend on the second city.

Fans at the Alexander Stadium will be treating to the world’s two leading heptathletes duking it out in the pit and Olympic champions battling for the airwaves in the pole vault some of the delights on show. 

The start lists are out and the home of British Athletics is ready – all that’s left is for you to secure your seat, with tickets still on sale for the IAAF Diamond League event.

Here’s a whizz through what’s in store.

Men’s Javelin: from 14:38

60-metre throwers stud the field for the javelin, set to make a big noise at the heart of the Alexander Stadium. German dominance in the event, led by Olympic champion Thomas Roehler and Diamond Trophy holder Andreas Hoffman, will be challenged by Estonian world leader Magnus Kirt and Czech Jakub Vadlejch, amongst others.

T35-38 100m Women: from 12:50

Sophie Hahn and Kadeena Cox are never far away from one another: sharing a rostrum twice at the IAAF World Championships in 2017, in adjacent lanes in the Paralympic final a year earlier, running the opening and anchor relay legs at the highest level. Their stories are intertwined; and they go again, over Hahn’s favoured distance, in front of a home crowd.

Women’s 100m hurdles: heats 13:02, 13:14, final 15:22

World champions-in-waiting will be everywhere you look over the jumps this weekend. Few have a more glittering record in the West Midlands than Keni Harrison, who shone at Birmingham weeks before setting her world record at the Muller Anniversary Games and return to be crowned world indoor champion last year. Ticket holders will see her – as well as world leader Danielle Williams and Olympic champion Brianna McNeal – twice in the space of a couple of hours.

Women’s long jump: 14:10 

The world will be watching as Nafi Thiam and Katarina Johnson-Thompson go hell for leather in front of the Main Stand at the Alexander Stadium. The Belgian’s Diamond League debut on these shores has set tongues wagging with British fans set for a first glimpse of the Olympic champion since her 2017 global victory. For Johnson-Thompson, it presents a perfect opportunity to score an early blow ahead of the World Championships.

Women’s 3000m steeplechase: 14:55

Milcah Chemos’ meeting record is under serious threat as this event returns to the Grand Prix for the first time since 2015. World record holder Beatrice Chepkoech will have that mark firmly in her sights, with Norah Jeruto and Hyvin Kiyeng, who both have favourable records against the 28-year-old, close at hand.

Women’s discus: 12:45

Croatia’s Sandra Perkovic has claimed the Muller Grand Prix Birmingham title in 2013, 2015 and 2017. Despite an injury-interrupted first half of the season, Perkovic’s return to form at the European Team Championships suggests she can continue that trend. Cubans Denia Caballero and Yaime Perez, with 70.65 and 69.39 personal bests, will have other ideas.

Millicent Fawcett Mile: 14:23 

The momentous Mile returns for a second year, inaugurated in 2018 at the Muller Anniversary Games as a celebration of the anniversary of women’s suffrage. Who will join Sifan Hassan as the event’s second winner? Konstanze Klosterhalfen broke her national record over 3000m in 2017 and will have a crack at the German Mile mark on Sunday. The Brits should show well, too, with Andrew Young-trained Jemma Reekie bringing back two European U23 medals this month. 

Women’s 200m: 15:52

A field worthy of a world final will bring this year’s Birmingham Grand Prix to a sensational climax. Shaunae Miller-Uibo still needs points to seal spot in the Diamond League final for this event, and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce isn’t a bad replacement for Elaine Thompson. With Dina Asher-Smith, Dafne Schippers and Blessing Okagbare on the start list, this one just keeps on giving.