Leading British athletes Christine Ohuruogu (coach: Lloyd Cowan) and Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie) today continued their countdown to Rio 2016 by outlining their hopes for Sunday’s Birmingham Diamond League at the Alexander Stadium, which is being held exactly two months before the Olympic Games.
Former Olympic and world champion Ohuruogu will compete in the 400m on Sunday alongside fellow-Britons Anyika Onuora (Rana Reider) and Seren Bundy-Davies (Stephen Ball), both of whom formed part of the 4x400m bronze winning team alongside Ohuruogu at 2015’s World Championships in Beijing.
Ohuruogu, the 2008 Olympic champion and 2012 silver medallist, is looking forward to competing in front of a British crowd on Sunday.
She said: “I’m aiming for my fourth Olympic Games and everything has been going well in training. I’ve just come back from Florida which was nice and hot and then I come back here and it’s cold! But it’s always great to compete in the UK as the fans are so knowledgeable and passionate about athletics. All the athletes are always pleased to come and run in Birmingham because there is such a great atmosphere.”
“The 400m is always exciting and competitive. There is a good familiarity about it and good respect between us all so I’m really looking forward to Sunday.”
At the age of 19 Asher-Smith became Britain’s fastest ever 100m sprinter, breaking the longstanding British She also holds the British record over 200m having broken the previous mark at last year’s World Championships, but competes in the 100m at the Birmingham Diamond League.
Asher-Smith said: “I only opened my season last week, but I’ve focused on the mistakes I’ve been making since I was 15 and I’m hoping to pull those together and execute my race better in Birmingham – hopefully it’ll be a really big year. I want to continue my progression as an athlete and produce my best on Sunday.”
The British sprinter will take on a stellar field including Dafne Schippers, the Netherlands current World 200m champion and European 200m record holder, and Tianna Bartoletta of the USA.
Asher-Smith said: “I’m really looking forward to Sunday – it’s great to compete against amazing athletes like Dafne. She is an incredible athlete but all athletes are beatable and I’m here to do my best.”
Tickets for the Birmingham Diamond League are available at britishathletics.org.uk or from the Alexander Stadium on the day.