Britain’s London Olympic high jump medallist Robbie Grabarz (coach: Fuzz Caan) believes that 2017 is the biggest year in the history of athletics in Birmingham, with three major events taking place in the city.
2017 will see three major events coming to the city – the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham (18 February) the British Athletics Team Trials (30 June – 2 July) and the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham (20 August) – as part of an incredible period for Birmingham, which will host the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships early the following year.
Grabarz is the first star to be added to the start list for the world’s number one indoor athletics meeting which expects to see some of the best names in British and global athletics take part in the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham.
Grabarz, who has won Olympic bronze at London 2012, European gold and silver in 2012 and 2016 and world indoor silver in Portland last March, will renew his rivalry with 2012 Olympic silver medallist and world indoor bronze medallist Erik Kynard of the USA in what is expected to be one of the highlights of the Müller Indoor Grand Prix.
The 29 year old also became the latest Birmingham athletics star to be added to the ‘Parade of Champions’, which celebrates the city’s rich athletics heritage.
Robbie Grabarz said: “I’m really focussed on an incredible year ahead. The indoor season is a chance for me to start the season strongly in an amazing year for athletics in Birmingham. I have performed well in the past in the indoor events and hope that it will set me up for a fantastic 12 months of athletics across the UK, especially in Birmingham.
“The Müller Indoor Grand Prix is the ideal way for me to begin my journey to the IAAF World Championships in London this summer, as well as looking ahead to the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham.”
The Müller Indoor Grand Prix, the final of the prestigious IAAF World Indoor Tour and ranked as the number one indoor grand prix event in the world, returns to the Midlands in February having been held in Glasgow for the first time in 2016 as the city alternates hosting the event with Birmingham up to 2020.
The Müller Indoor Grand Prix is a vital event for British athletes as they prepare for a year which will include two global championships in the UK; the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London and the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham.
Niels de Vos, Chief Executive of British Athletics, said: “The Müller Indoor Grand Prix is the best indoor athletics meeting in the world and it’s great to have it back in Birmingham ahead of the outstanding events we have coming up between now and early 2018.
“The high jump is always a popular event and we look forward to welcoming the best in the world to Birmingham this year and in 2018. Robbie is a fantastic ambassador for the event and we are delighted to honour him today as part of Birmingham’s rich global athletics history.”
Councillor Ian Ward, Deputy Leader for Birmingham City Council, who are working in partnership with British Athletics on all of the Birmingham events, said: “We are delighted to be hosting three major athletics events in the city during 2017. The first of these, the Müller Indoor Grand Prix, always provides an exciting start to our sporting year and will further increase the anticipation ahead of 2018’s IAAF World Indoor Championships – the latest in a long line of major sporting championships to be held in Birmingham.”
The Müller Indoor Grand Prix is the number one ranked indoor grand prix in the world. Tickets are available at www.britishathletics.org.uk