Additional disciplines add spice to the 2018 Muller Grand Prix Birmingham
The four event additions for the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham are as follows:
Meeting record; 3:51.89 – set by Asbel Kiprop, KEN on 24.08.14
Something that has become a jewel in the British Athletics event crown is the Emsley Carr mile, the 66th edition of which will be contested at the 2018 Muller Grand Prix Birmingham.
The mile race has been a key fixture in the summer athletics calendar in the UK, with no less than 11 Olympic champions winning the event since its first running in 1953, won by Britain’s Gordon Pirie, the second winner of BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year.
Other notable names to have written their name into the trophy's history include Gabe Jennings, Haile Gebrselassie and Hicham El Guerrouj, the latter being the current world record holder for the men's mile.
Last year saw Jake Wightman become the first British athlete since 2005 to win the race as he pipped fellow Brit (and Scot) Chris O'Hare to the title by just 0.09, with the victory made all the more special for Wightman by the fact that father Geoff was commentating on the race from the stands.
2018 will be the fifth time that the event has taken place at the Alexander Stadium, the first coming back in 1983 when one Sebastian Coe emerged victorious.
The winner of the race each year writes their signature in the Emsley Carr trophy, a red Moroccan leather-bound book which has built to a level of genuine prestige based on those who have scrawled their names within it.
When it comes to the meeting record in Birmingham, the current time to beat is a scorching 3:51.89, a time which was produced by 1500m specialist Asbel Kiprop of Kenya back in 2014.
Men’s Long Jump
Meeting record; 8.45m (+1.9) – set by Miguel Pate, USA on 21.08.05
Following on from last year’s IAAF World Championships in London and the fierce competition shown at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham earlier this year, there is the potential for many a long jump record to tumble this year.
Come the later stages of the season, and based on some of the astounding jumps at both of the aforementioned world championships, Miguel Pate’s 8.45m (+1.9) meeting record set back in 2005 could be seriously under threat come August 18.
The winning mark in London was 8.48m (+0.4), set by South African Luvo Manyonga, who also came second at the World Indoor Championships earlier this year with a leap of 8.44m.
He was edged out in Birmingham by Cuba’s Juan Miguel Echevarria, who jumped 8.46m on his way to gold, while bronze medallist Marquis Dendy was only four centimetres further back on 8.42m, distances which made for one of the closest competitions in recent memory and continued the pattern of peaking major interest around the event.
Aside from those making the rostrum in recent championships, August’s meeting could have the potential to feature the likes of home favourite Greg Rutherford as he continues his comeback from injury, with the 31-year-old going on record to outline his ambition of winning a third consecutive European title alongside strong showings on the global circuit.
Meeting record; 12.36 (-0.4) – set by Kendra Harrison, USA on 05.06.2016
An event which has quite rightly generated a lot of excitement in recent years on the back of Kendra Harrison’s stunning world record run of 12.20 at the Müller Anniversary Games in 2016, the women’s high hurdles provides a sense of excitement and potential jeopardy all of its own.
While USA star Harrison ran the quickest time of 2017 with a blistering 12.28 in Hungary, it was Australia’s Sally Pearson who stole the headlines in winning both the IAAF World Championships and Diamond League titles, some achievement on the back of being hampered by injury for the previous couple of years.
Harrison bounced back from the disappointment of London 2017 with IAAF World Indoor gold over 60m earlier this month, though the strength of her USA compatriots, as well as European stars such as Pamela Dutkiewicz and Nadine Visser, will make for some intriguing races come the outdoor season of this year.
Meeting record; 2:35.21 – set by Ellen Van Langen, NED on 29.08.93
A distance sure to appeal to those typically seen racing over 800m and 1500m, the 1000m race at this year’s Müller Grand Prix Birmingham will be the first time the event has been raced at the Alexander Stadium for some years in such high-calibre competition.
Sure to play host to various record attempts once those in the field have been confirmed, with the stadium, meeting (2:25.21) and Diamond League records (2:35.43) – the latter set by Kenya’s Nelly Jepkosgei back in 2013 - having the potential to be troubled come August 18.