Reigning Wanda Diamond League champion Elaine Thompson-Herah will join Great Britain's Dina Asher-Smith (GBR) in the women’s 100m at the Müller Birmingham Diamond League on Saturday 21st May, in a stacked field that also features Tokyo medallists, Shericka Jackson (JAM) and Gabrielle Thomas (USA).
29-year-old Thompson-Herah - named sportswoman of the year at the recent Laureus World Sports Awards - was an impressive triple gold medallist in Tokyo. She defended the 100m and 200m titles that she had won in Rio 2016, the first woman ever to do so, and improved her Rio relay silver with 4 x 100m gold. She later went on to win a third Diamond Trophy in the 100m in Zurich.
The Jamaican national record holder over 100m (10.54) and 200m (21.53), she’s the second-fastest woman in the world of all-time behind Florence Griffith-Joyner. Her season-opener of 10.89 at the USATF Golden Games in California in April ranks her second-fastest in the world this year to date.
“I’m obviously very proud of what I’ve achieved in my career so far, but there are more goals I want to achieve in the sport, so I’m now motivated to work even harder,” said the 2021 Diamond League champion. “I enjoyed racing indoors earlier this year, and I was pleased with how I opened my outdoors, but my focus is on working hard each day and getting back onto the podium at the World Championships this summer.”
Jackson, Jamaica’s multiple Olympic and world medallist, took gold in the 4 x 100m relay and bronze in the 100m and 4 x 400m relay in Tokyo. A member of Jamaica’s World Championship winning 4 x 100m relay (2019), the 27-year-old - who finished sixth in the 60m final at the 2022 World Indoor Championships - was also a double bronze medallist in Doha 2019 in the 400m and 4 x 400m. Her 100m lifetime best, achieved in the Tokyo final, is 10.76.
Thomas, Olympic silver medallist in the 4 x 100m relay, finished third in the Tokyo 200m. The 25-year-old Harvard graduate, who has a 100m best of 11.00, opened her 2022 season in style. She equalled her best in the heats of the USATF Golden Games on 16 April, before clocking a wind-assisted 10.86 in the final; 24 minutes later, she ran 22.02 - the third-fastest time in the world this year to date - in the 200m. She went even quicker over 100m at the Michael Johnson Invitational on 23 April (10.80), but with the illegal advantage of a +3.2 tailwind.
World and European champion Dina Asher-Smith was announced for the Müller Birmingham Diamond League in March.
The two-time Olympic relay bronze medallist - British record holder over 100m (10.83) and 200m (21.88) - is the reigning world 200m champion and was the silver-medallist over 100m and 4 x 100m in Doha 2019. She is a multiple European champion and won triple gold in Berlin in 2018 over 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay.
Daryll Neita, who finished eighth in the 100m final in Tokyo, ran her ten career best times in 2021. She clocked an impressive 10.93 lifetime best in the Wanda Diamond League final in Zurich and finished the season ranked second-fastest British woman of all time behind Asher-Smith.
“I was very focused going into last summer and I knew I was capable of going sub-11 seconds,” said the 25-year-old who is a two-time world silver medallist in the 4 x 100m relay. “I’d visualised lining up in the Olympic final against those incredible girls. I think you have to believe you belong there, and now I know that I do. I can’t wait to do it all over again this year and to get my season started in front of a home crowd in Birmingham.”
Completing the field are Ajla Del Ponte (SUI), the Swiss national record holder (10.90) and European indoor 60m champion who was fifth in the Olympic 100m final; Anthonique Strachan (BAH), world U20 champion over 100m and 200m (2012) with a best of 10.99 (2022); and Cambrea Sturgis (USA), reigning NCAA champion over 100m and 200m and current world-leader with a best of 10.87.
The Müller Birmingham Diamond League is the second meeting of the 2022 Wanda Diamond League series. The series comprises 14 meetings in total, starting with Doha on 13 May and concluding with a single final across two days in Zurich (7-8 September). Each meeting will be broadcast globally in a live two-hour programme.