The Birmingham Diamond League will be a star studded affair when it kicks off at the Alexander Stadium on June 5th.
If Olympic, World and European Champion Mo Farah’s confirmed participation in the event was not enough to excite fans all over the world, the addition of 12 more international stars will certainly make the Birmingham Diamond League event a grand one. Dina Asher Smith will return to her favourite Alexander Stadium to compete in the 100m event almost an year after setting a new championships record at the same venue. She will face tough competition though. World 200m champion Dafne Schippers will make her debut at the venue, competing in the 100m . A shock defeat notwithstanding at IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland last month, the woman from Netherlands will be very confident.
— British Athletics (@BritAthletics) April 6, 2016
Adam Gemili, the European 200m champ will also be participating in 100m. The first Brit to run the 100m under 10 seconds and the 200m under 20 seconds, Gemili will return to the arena of his first sub ten second sprint. He is confident of bettering the 9.97 he clocked in 2015 in Birmingham to finish second. The pick of the stars though, should be David Rudisha. Stepping down from his preferred 800m to 600 m in this event, the Kenyan will look to better his 1:13:71 from two years ago. The 600 m will be good preparation for his defense of the 800m title in Rio de Janeiro later this year. Always a crowd favorite, Rudisha is the frontrunner to take home the title at the Diamond League.
Fellow Kenyan Asbel Kiprop will also make an appearance at the meet. The three time world Champion and 2008 Olympic gold medalist desperately wants to regain his gold in the 1500m at Rio de Janeiro in the Summer Olympics. For this, the Birmingham Diamond League should be the right foundation. A place of which he has great memories, the Alexander Stadium should put him in the right frame of mind for this event and also for the Olympics. Valerie Adams will also be a star marking her attendance in the event. The two time Olympic champion won the event twice in 2012 and 2014 and a repeat is expected. For Adams though, the biggest milestone would be bettering her stadium record of 20.52m.
— IAAF Diamond League (@Diamond_League) April 7, 2016
Home fans will be rooting as loudly for Lynsey Sharp as they would for Farah. The European 800m champion will look to add her second Birmingham Diamond League title when she appears at the event. The 2014 Commonwealth Silver medalist will be on familiar grounds. She won three British titles at the Alexander Stadium and clocked a world class time of 1:59:14 in her appearance in 2014. Making her life though would be Francine Niyonsaba, Eunice Sum, Ajee Wilson and Sifan Hassan. World Indoor Champion from Burundi, Francine is on a high and would look to better her personal best of 1:56:59 here. Eunice Sum, the African and Commonwealth champion will want to get back her scintillating form of 2013 when she won the world championship. That she does so quickly, and at this particular event is very crucial for her preparation for Rio 16. Indoor silver medalist Ajee Wilson will want to see the American flag high with a podium finish, though standing in her way would be Sifan Hassan. She is in good shape after her 2015 Beijing bronze in the World Championship (1500m) and anyone who discounts her does so at their own risk.
Looking to add to British delight would be Tiffany Porter. The European 100m hurdles champion picked her third successive World Indoor medal in Portland in the 60m hurdles last month. With a range of medals in her kitty and looking to win a medal in Rio, Porter would want to get her outdoor season off to a great start.