Five-time Olympic champion Elaine Thompson Herah will spotlight the women's 60 meters at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix, a World Athletics Indoor Tour gold level meeting, in Birmingham's Utilita Arena on Saturday February 19.
The top British meeting features three individual gold medallists from the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Thompson Herah holds the Jamaican 100m and 200m records and is the second-fastest sprinter in history in the 100m with her 10.54 set at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene and in the 200m with 21.53 set in the Olympic final in Tokyo. The 29-year-old Jamaican sprint star won three Olympic gold medals in Tokyo; in 100m, 200m and the 4x100 relay, becoming the first sprinter in history to triumph over both individual sprint distances in two consecutive editions of the Olympic Games. Her title collection also features a silver medal in the 200m and the 4x100 relay title at the World Championships in Beijing 2015 and the world indoor bronze medal in the 60 meters in Portland 2016. She won twice in the British Indoor Grand Prix in 2017 in her PB of 6.98 and in 2019 in 7.13.
Thompson Herah has not competed internationally since her 100 meters win with 10.65 in Zurich's Wanda Diamond League Final.
Thompson Herah: "I am excited to race in Birmingham to start my 2022 campaign. I have enjoyed competing in the UK over the years and there is always a special atmosphere at this venue. I ran my PB at this arena in 2017, so competing here means a lot to me. This year is a huge one. I have big goals for the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, but first, I would like to give fans something to cheer about in Birmingham".
Thompson Herah will face Olympic 4x100 relay bronze medallist Darryil Neita and Mujinga Kambundji from Switzerland and Spanish Indoor record holder Maria Perez, who clocked 7.20 this winter, British rising star Amy Hunt, who set the world under 18 record of 22.42 in the 200 meters and won the 200m European Under 20 gold in 2019, and US Destiny Smith Barnett, who clocked her seasonal best of 7.14 in Staten Island this winter.
Neita, who reached the Olympic 100m final in Tokyo, won the 60 meters at the ISTAF Indoor meeting in Berlin in 7.15.
Kambundji won the world indoor bronze medal in the 60 meters in Birmingham 2018 and the world outdoor bronze in the 200m in Doha 2019. The Swiss sprint star set her 100m record of 10.94 in the Diamond League final in Zurich last September and started her 2022 indoor season on a high note with 7.14 in the 60 meters in Magglingen.
Duplantis headlines men's pole vault in Birmingham
Armand Mondo Duplantis will compete indoors in Great Britain for the first time since February 2020, when he improved his own world record to 6.18m in the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow. This year, the top British indoor meeting will be held at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham.
Duplantis will compete for the fourth time this winter after clearing 6.01m in Karlsruhe, 6.03m in Berlin, and 6.04m in Uppsala. The Swedish star will be aiming at the world record height of 6.19m, which he has already attempted in 15 competitions so far in his career.
Duplantis won the European outdoor gold medal in Berlin in 2018, setting the world under 20 records with 6.05m. He added to his medal haul world silver medal in Doha in 2019 with 5.97m, the European Indoor gold medal in Torun with 6.05m, and the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo with 6.02m in 2021.
Armand Duplantis: "I am really excited for the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham. The event holds fond memories for me. Going over 6.18m and breaking the world record was a special moment".
Duplantis will face Thiago Braz Da Silva, who won the Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro 2016 with a South American record of 6.03m in front of his fans and finished third with 5.81m in Liévin on Thursday, Ben Broeders from Belgium, national record holder with 5.81m and European Under 23 champion in Bydgoszcz 2017, US vaulters Cole Walsh (PB 5.83m) and Nate Richartz (indoor PB 5.75m).
The best home vaulter in the field is Harry Coppell, who broke the national outdoor record of 5.85m at the British Championships in Manchester in September 2020.
Men's 60 meters hurdles: Holloway lines up against Pozzi
World indoor record holder Grant Holloway will line up against world indoor champion Andy Pozzi in the men's 60 meters hurdles. Holloway has remained unbeaten in the 60m hurdles since 2014 and improved the world indoor record held by Colin Jackson since 1994, clocking 7.29 in the World Indoor Tour meeting in Madrid in 2021. Holloway won his first two World Indoor Tour Gold races this season in Staten Island in 7.37 and in Liévin in 7.35, extending his winning streak to 44 consecutive victories.
Holloway set the second-fastest time in history with 12.81 in the 110m hurdles in the semifinal of the Olympic Trials missing Aries Merritt's world record by 0.01 and winning the Olympic silver medal in 13.09 in Tokyo.
Grant Holloway: "I learned a lot in 2021, and it's important for me to keep learning, keep growing, and to become a better and a faster athlete. This will be the first time I have competed in Birmingham, and it's my final race before the US Indoor Trials. It's going to play a huge part in my preparation for the World Indoor Championships".
Pozzi won the world indoor gold medal in Birmingham 2018 in front of his home fans one year after claiming the European Indoor title in Belgrade 2017. The British hurdler finished seventh in the 110m hurdles in the Olympic final in Tokyo. The 29-year-old British hurdler set an indoor PB of 7.43 in Birmingham in 2017.
They have not met in the 60m hurdles indoors since February 2021, when Holloway set the world record in Madrid and Pozzi finished second in 7.51.
Andy Pozzi: "Last year was very tough. Everything that could have gone wrong in my preparation for Tokyo went wrong. Still, I am excited about the year ahead and opening my season in Birmingham, where I have many great memories. I have big goals for this year, and I hope that with the backing of a fantastic crowd, I can get this season off to a really positive start".
The line-up also features Jamaica's Ronald Levy, Olympic bronze medallist in Tokyo, Jarret Eaton, world indoor silver medallist in Birmingham 2018 and winner in the Val de Reuil meeting on Monday in 7.50, and Orlando Ortega from Spain, Olympic silver medallist and world bronze medallist in Doha 2019 in the 110m hurdles.
Men's 60 meters: Lyles is looking to finish the indoor season on a high note
Reigning world 200m and 4x100 relay champion Noah Lyles and world indoor bronze medallist Ronnie Baker will be the headliners in the men's 60 meters.
Lyles clocked 6.64 at the Millrose Games on January 29 and a PB of 6.56 at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on February 6 in his first two 60m races at this year's World Indoor Tour Gold. The 24-year-old US sprint super-star became the fourth-fastest sprinter in history in the 200 meters with his PB of 19.50 in Lausanne. He won the 200 world outdoor title in Doha in 2019 and set the fastest time in the world over this distance in 2021 with 19.52 at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene. Birmingham will be Lyles' final indoor race of the season. Lyles will make his debut in the top British indoor meeting.
Noah Lyles: "I have run on the US Indoor circuit this year, and this meeting will be the final one for me. I have seen many fast times come from the Birmingham track, and I am looking forward to running there. This year, my main focus is on defending my titles at the World Athletics Championships this summer and continuing to get better. Every training session and every race is working towards achieving that goal, and this race fits right into that".
Lyles will line up against his compatriot Ronnie Baker, who won the world indoor bronze medal in Birmingham in 2018 and set his PB of 6.40 at that last year's US Indoor Championships in Albuquerque. Baker started his indoor season with a third-place with 6.54 at the Millrose Games and finished fifth in Liévin in 6.59. Baker finished fifth in the 100 meters in 9.95 after clocking 9.83 in the semifinal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo and broke the 6.50 barrier eleven times in the 60 meters.
The line-up will also feature Mike Rodgers, who won the world indoor silver medal in the 60m in Doha 2010 and the world gold medal in the 4x100 relay in Doha 2019, and Jan Volko from Slovakia, who completed a full set of medals at the European Indoor Championships (silver in Belgrade 2017, gold in Glasgow 2019 and bronze in Torun 2021).
The top British sprinters in the line-up are reigning national indoor champion Andy Robertson, who set a seasonal best of 6.62 in Manchester last January, and Nethaneel Mitchell Blake, European silver medallist in the 200 meters in Berlin 2018 and world 4x100 relay champion in London 2017.
Women's 800 meters: Hodgkinson starts her season on home soil
Olympic silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson will kick off her indoor season in the 800 meters in front of her home crowed. Hodgkinson made her major breakthrough during the 2021 indoor season when she broke the world under 20 indoor 800 meters record in Vienna with 1:59.03. The 19-year-old British middle-distance star went on to win the European Indoor gold medal in Torun. During the 2021 summer season, she won the Olympic silver medal, breaking Kelly Holmes' British record with 1:55.88 in Tokyo on her Olympic debut, and won the Wanda Diamond League title in Zurich.
Hodgkinson will face olympic finalist Natoya Goule from Jamaica, who won two World Indoor Tour Gold meetings this winter in Staten Island in 1:59.62 and in Liévin in a world leading time of 1:58.46.
Women's 400 meters: Miller Uibo makes her seasonal debut
Double Olympic 400 meters champion Shaunae Miller Uibo will make her seasonal debut. The Bahamian star set her 400m indoor PB of 50.21 in New York last year and later went on to win her second consecutive 400m Olympic gold medal in her lifetime best of 48.36 in Tokyo.
Miller Uibo will face Jamaica's Stephanie Ann McPherson, a two-time winner at the Birmingham Muller Indoor Grand Prix and fourth placer at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 49.61, Justyna Swiety Ersetic, European champion in the 400 meters and the 4x400 relay in Berlin 2018, and Jessie Knight, British champion in the 400m hurdles in Manchester in 2020.
Men's 1500 meters: Mechaal chases the Spanish indoor record
Adel Mechaal will return to the track to run the 1500 meters two weeks after breaking the European Indoor record in the 3000 meters with 7.30.82 in Staten Island. Mechaal will chase the Spanish indoor record in the 1500 meters held by Andres Manuel Diaz with 3:33.32.
Mechaal will take on Kenya's Abel Kipsang, who finished fourth in the 1500m Olympic final in Tokyo, and Jake Wightman from Great Britain, who won two bronze medals in the 1500m at the European Championships in Berlin and at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in 2018 and improved his PB to 3:29.47 in Monaco in 2020. The British line-up also features Neil Gourley, who clocked 3:35.32 in Boston on February 12, and Charlie Grice, who set his PB of 3:30.62 in the 1500m in Monaco in 2019. Peter Elliott's British long-standing indoor record of 3:34.20 could be under threat.
Men's 800 meters: Giles faces Lewandowski
Elliot Giles will chase his second 800m win this season in the World Indoor Tour after finishing first in Karlsruhe in 1.46.78 and finishing runner-up in Liévin in 1:46.59. Giles broke Sebastian Coe's British indoor record, clocking 1:43.63 in Torun last year. The British 800m middle distance runner will run against Marcin Lewandowski, world bronze medallist in the 1500m in Doha 2019m, Collins Kipruto from Kenya, who set his outdoor PB clocking 1:43.76 in Marseille in 2021, and 2019 European Indoor champion Alvaro de Arriba from Spain.
Adam Ksczcot, who recently announced his plan to retire from athletics at the end of the indoor season, will make his final appearance in Birmingham on the track, where he won the world indoor title in the 800 meters.
Women's 1000 meters: Reekie attacks European Indoor record
Olympic 1500m silver medallist Laura Muir planned to attack Maria Mutola's 1000m indoor world record in Birmingham. Still, she has been forced to withdraw from the race and will miss the entire indoor season due to a back injury.
Laura Muir: "I am sad to announce I am not going to be able to compete. After further investigation into an injury, I sustained a few weeks ago, I have to take some weeks off running to recover. This means my indoor will not happen this year. I am gutted to miss the Muller Indoor Grand Prix, especially as I have such fond memories of the event from the previous years".
Jemma Reekie will attack her training partner Muir's European indoor record of 2:31.93 set in Birmingham in 2017. Reekie finished fourth in the 800 meters final at the Olympic Games in Tokyo last year and holds the British indoor records of 1:57.91 in the 800m and 4:17.98 in the mile.
The other top names are Esther Guerrero from Spain, who won her first World Indoor Tour race in the 1500m in Staten Island, Gaia Sabbatini from Italy, who won the European Under 23 title in the 1500m in Tallin and became the second-fastest Italian runner in history clocking 4:02.25 in the Olympic semifinal in Tokyo in 2021, Isabelle Boffey from Great Britain, European Under 23 gold medallist in the 800 meters in Tallin, Angelika Cichocka from Poland, who won the European 1500m outdoor gold medal in Amsterdam 2016, and Italy's Federica Del Buono, European Indoor bronze medallist in the 1500 meters in Prague 2015.
Women's high jump: Lasitskene takes on Borthwick
Olympic gold medallist Mariya Lasitskene will return to Birmingham, where she won her second world indoor title in 2018 with 2.01m. The Russian high jumper won her third world outdoor title in Doha in 2019 with 2.04m and her first Olympic gold medal with the same height. She crowned her successful 2021 season with the Diamond League title in Zurich, where she cleared a world-leading mark of 2.05m. Lasitskene had to delay her start to the season due to illness and settled in sixth place with 1.93m in her debut in Banska Bystrica on Tuesday.
Maiya Lasitskene: "I have two global titles to defend in 2022, and this competition is great preparation for the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade. I won the 2018 world indoor title at this venue, and the crowd's noise was incredible. We have had to compete in silence at many events over the past two years, and I am looking forward to returning to a packed arena in Birmingham".
Lasitskene will face Eleanor Patterson from Australia, who finished fifth at the Olympic Games with 1.96m and set the world-leading mark and Oceanian indoor record of 1.99m in Banska Bystrica last Tuesday, British high jumper Emily Borthwick, who won three competitions this year in Karlsruhe (1.91m), Hustopece (1.95m) and Mondeville (1.92m), Marija Vukovic from Montenegro, who finished third with 1.96m in Banska Bystrica on Tuesday and Italy's Alessia Trost, who won the world indoor bronze medal in Birmingham 2018.
Women's long jump: Spanovic Vuleta tests her shape ahead of world indoor title defense
Ivana Spanovic Vuleta targets her second consecutive long jump world indoor title in front of her home fans in Belgrade four years after winning the gold medal at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham. At the Muller Indoor Grand Prix, the Serbian star will test her shape against 2021 European Indoor champion Maryna Beck Romanchuk from the Ukraine and 2016 world indoor bronze medallist Lorraine Ugen from Great Britain, who won the long jump in the World Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Staten Island with 6.71m
Women's 60 meters hurdles: Ditaji Kambundji starts the favorite
The names to watch are European Under 20 champion Ditaji Kambundji from Switzerland, who broke the 8 seconds barrier with 7.98 in the 60m hurdles in Magglingen last weekend; Luminosa Bogliolo, who finished sixth at the European Indoor Championships in 7.99 in Torun 2021 and broke the Italian 100m hurdles record with 12.75 in the Olympic semifinal in Tokyo, Zoe Sedney from the Netherlands, seventh at European Indoor Championships in 8.00 last year, and British rising star Holly Mills, bronze medallist in the heptathlon at the European Under 20 Championships in Tallin 2021.
Men's 400 meters: Bonevacia the man to watch
Olympic 4x400 relay bronze medallist Liemarvin Bonevacia, who set his outdoor PB clocking 44.40 in Bern last year, will come up against three-time world indoor champion Pavel Maslak from the Czech Republic and last year's Ed Faulds from Great Britain, who won the European Under 20 gold medals in the 400m in 45.72 and in the 4x400 relay.
Women's 1500 meters: Markovc the top name
Last year's 3000 meters European Indoor gold medallist Amy Eloise Markovc will take on sub-four-minute performer Linden Hall from Australia, Claudia Bobocea from Romania, Aurore Fleury from France, and Marta Perez from Spain.
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