The World’s top one-lap hurdlers, including Jessie Knight (GBR), and Tokyo silver medallist, Dalilah Muhammad (USA), will do battle in the women’s 400m hurdles at the Müller Birmingham Diamond League, on Saturday 21 May, the second meeting of the 2022 Wanda Diamond League series.
Briton’s Knight, fresh from a successful indoor season competing in the 400m, will also feature as she returns to the one-lap hurdle event. The Windsor Slough Eton and Hounslow athlete will be looking to build on her strong finish to 2021 when she set a personal best of 54:23 in August following a tough outing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo where she hit a hurdle and was unable to complete her heat. Earlier in the season Knight had finished a creditable fourth in a Diamond League meeting in Gateshead holding her own in a stacked international field.
On facing such talented field in Birmingham, 27-year-old Knight said, “This is what it’s all about, competing with the very best in the world. I had a great indoors focussing on my speed and am now coming out of a big technical block of training. I am excited to see where I am at ahead of a massive season with three big championships to target. The Birmingham crowd always give the home athletes huge support and I am looking forward to competing in front of them in the new stadium.”
The race on the new Alexander Stadium track will feature five of the finalists from the Tokyo Olympic Games in which Dalilah Muhammad was pipped to the gold medal by fellow American, Sydney McLaughlin, in a world record of 51:46 with Muhammed finishing second in 51:58, also inside the previous world record time.
Muhammad, the reigning world champion and Olympic gold medallist from Rio, said, “I am very excited to kick-start my 2022 season in Birmingham. I had quite a difficult start to my 2021 season so to have it end where it ended, I couldn’t be more grateful. Second fastest time in history and one of only two women to break 52 seconds.
“I can’t wait to see what a completely healthy season looks like. I’ll be defending my world championship title in Oregon so these early races are key to get me where I need to be. It’s my 10th season as a pro and I couldn’t be more determined.”
Lina Nielsen (GBR), who clocked a World Athletics Championships qualifying standard and PB last weekend with a time of 54.65, also joins the field. It was the British athlete’s first sub 55 second run in the event and moved her to eighth on the UK all-time list. Tokyo Olympian Jessica Turner (GBR) is also in the line-up.
Tokyo fourth place finisher, Janieve Russell (JAM), Panama’s Gianna Woodruff, Rhonda Whyte (JAM) along with the Ukrainian duo, Anna Ryzhykova and Viktoriya Tkachuk, complete the top-class field competing for their first Diamond League points of the season.