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brits return to zurich for diamond league finals

James Dasaolu Zurich
28 August 2014


Brits return to Zurich for Diamond League Finals

Just two weeks after the European Championships took Zurich by storm, the world’s best athletes will return to the Swiss city for the first of two IAAF Diamond League finals.

Great Britain & Northern Ireland’s three individual male sprint medallists from the European Championships will all line-up in the in the men’s 100m A race, a non-Diamond League event. Leading the way will be 100m champion James Dasaolu (Steve Fudge) and he will be joined by training partner and 200m champion Adam Gemili (Fudge). Both men were present at yesterday’s press conference, with Dasaolu commenting:

“I won gold [at the European Championships], which is a good accomplishment. But I still have some work to do if I want to compete with the best guys in the world. In 2012, I joined up with a new coach, Steven Fudge. He built a team around me with a good therapist, good massage, and good chiropractor to keep me fit and healthy.”

Whilst for Gemili, most of the questions revolved around when he’d break the magical 10 second barrier, with the Commonwealth Games 100m silver medallist saying:

“For many sprinters, it is a big check mark. But even if you can do that it is hard nowadays. Even if you run 9.90, it is still hard to get to the podium at major championships. It would be nice to do it, but then, I am only 20 years old, and I hope I will be able to run that fast at some stage in my career. I believe I can do it, and I hope it is only a matter of time.”

Joining the pair will be European Championship 100m bronze medallist Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Rana Reider), whilst sub 10 second man Chijindu Ujah (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) will go in the B race.

Also in sprint action is female 100m bronze medallist Ashleigh Nelson (Michael Afilaka), who will be looking to revise her personal best again after a fine run to finish third at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix on Sunday. She will also run leg two for the GB & NI 4x100m team who take to the track for the last event of the night. She is joined by Asha Philip (Christine Bowmaker), who leads the team off, with Anyika Onoura (Reider) and Desiree Henry (Reider) running the final two legs. Also in sprint action is James Ellington (Reider) who lines up in the men’s 200m.

European champions Martyn Rooney (Reider) and Tiffany Porter (Reider) return to the Letzigrund Stadium, the venue for their greatest success in the sport, to contest the Diamond League 400m and 100mH finals respectively. Surprisingly Rooney has the slowest personal best in the field, but expect him to take some scalps on the night.

It’s a familiar story for Porter, who goes in the lane next to Olympic champion Sally Pearson. Also in the field are Brianna Rollins and Cindy Billaud, all of whom she has beaten at some point this season. American Queen Harrison looks to have the Diamond race wrapped up in this event as she currently sits on 17 points.

2014 breakthrough act Andy Vernon (Nic Bideau) goes in an African dominated 5,000m after winning bronze over the distance in Zurich 10 days ago. Vernon also won silver behind Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar) over 10,000m, and whilst a high placing will be a big ask, if the pace is quick he could challenge his personal best.

Isobel Pooley (Fuzz Ahmed) is the only British field eventer in action, and she will be full of confidence after equalling the British record with a 1.96m jump in Germany last weekend, the highest outdoor jump by a Briton ever.

Meanwhile Commonwealth Games and double European medallist Jade Jones (Ian & Tanni Grey-Thompson) will take on a small but select field in the women’s 2600m wheelchair race, including local favourite Manuela Schar who won four gold medals in Swansea last week.

All the action is live on BBC 2 and the BBC Sport website from 19:00 - 21:00.

For live coverage follow @BritAthletics on twitter, with a full report available on the British Athletics website after the conclusion of the meeting.