TheSportsNewsBlog.com

‘Asher-Smith faces a big test’ – Jackson analyses key Birmingham battles

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (second right)

Muller Grand Prix
Venue: Alexander Stadium, Birmingham Date: 18 August
Coverage: Live coverage on BBC Two 13:30-16:30 BST, repeated 19:00-22:00 BST on BBC Red Button

Sunday’s Birmingham Grand Prix is one of the final dress rehearsals for the 2019 World Championships, with the sprinters taking centre-stage at the Alexander Stadium.

Two-time 110m hurdles world champion Colin Jackson, who will be part of the BBC Athletics team in Doha, talks through his key events in this latest leg of the Diamond League season, which you can watch live on BBC Two.

Asher-Smith faces a tough test

European sprint double champion Dina-Asher Smith will be going for a world double in just over a month’s time, and her credentials will be tested in the 200m this Sunday.

Just look at the line-up. We have former double Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who is in superb form, and then there’s 400m Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo. Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare is the second fastest in the world this year, double World sprint silver medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lou will also be on the start line as will US champion Dezerea Bryant.

It’s fair to say that this will be a good stretch-out for Dina, and we’ll see roughly where she’s at.

Can Dina deliver a great performance? Can she beat Shaunae, who was number one over 200m last season?

Dina will also have to contend with Shelly-Ann again, who defeated her comfortably over 100m at the Anniversary Games in July. I saw no weakness in the Jamaican 2013 World sprint double champion that day – to beat those two Dina will have to go into unknown territory.

And good luck to 17-year-old Briton Amy Hunt, who faces her first big test since recently becoming the fastest ever under-18 female over 200m.

Can anyone beat Coleman in the 100m?

Christian Coleman

Our expectations of American sprinter Christian Coleman have grown and so have his performances.

The 23-year-old, who won world 100m silver two years ago, was marked as the guy to take over from Usain Bolt over the shorter sprint distance. He landed his first major blows when he set a new 60m indoor record in 2018 followed by the World Indoor title.

Once he won that first title he started to run fast. Remember his 9.79 seconds in Brussels last year? His nearest rival could prove to be Canada’s triple Olympic medallist Andre de Grasse.

Adam Gemili is Britain’s main hope in the 100m event. Adam is 25 now, but has had to battle with injuries during his career and has had a change of coach. What then tends to happen is you take half a step back before you get into the groove again.

His displays have started to improve – he clocked 10.04 in London in July. He will be there and thereabouts on Sunday.

KJT v Thiam

Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Nafi Thiam

There will definitely be a psychological battle going on between Olympic, World and European champion Nafissatou Thiam and Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson in the long jump before they square up in the heptathlon in Doha.

The long jump is one of KJT’s best events and she will certainly want to jump much further than her main rival on Sunday – it will be a bit of gameplay.

Briton Lorraine Ugen, fifth at the 2017 World Championships, and Olympic bronze medallist Ana Spanovic of Serbia will also be in the field.

The 100m hurdles could be a classic

This event is packed full of high-quality athletes, including world record holder Kendra Harrison, Olympic champion Brianna McNeal and 2015 world champion Danielle Williams.

We could see a very low time here, but it all depends on the Birmingham weather.

All three I’ve mentioned can produce phenomenal performances and I’m sure we’ll see a cracking series of races of Sunday.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

BBC Sport – Athletics

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *