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asher-smith to face best sprinter in the world at stellar birmingham showdown

Dina Asher-Smith

Britain’s top female sprinter Dina Asher-Smith (coach: John Blackie) will face the best sprinter in the world, double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson of Jamaica, over 60m at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham on 18 February.

Elaine Thompson was the shining star of the Rio Olympic Games winning gold in the 100m and 200m sprints. Dina Asher-Smith is Britain’s fastest ever female sprinter and finished fifth over 200m at the Olympic Games in Rio in August.

Dina Asher-Smith said: “I can't wait for the Müller Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham. The race is always high quality and will be a key part of my preparations building up to the European Indoor Championships and the London 2017 World Championships! I can't wait to see everyone there."

The Muller Indoor Grand Prix is the number one indoor meeting in the world and the event at the Barclaycard Arena is a key competition at the start of an important year for top class athletes and includes the European Indoor Championships in Belgrade and the IAAF World Championships in London.

Asher-Smith added: “Being able to compete at home in front of such a warm and knowledgeable crowd in Birmingham is always special for me and I know that it will be amazing this year.”

The Müller Indoor Grand Prix 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.

Elaine Thompson set a 60m personal best at this event in Glasgow last January and previously had set a 200m personal best at the Anniversary Games in 2015, but this will be her first visit to the Midlands.

Thompson said: “2016 was an amazing year for me and I want to carry on my form into next year, which is another really important year. I have good memories of this event after setting a personal best last year and hopefully in Birmingham I can challenge my PB and maybe get close to going under seven seconds. I love competing in the UK, this is one of the best events in the world and the fans are always amazing.”

Niels de Vos, Chief Executive, British Athletics said: “This showdown in Birmingham will be one of the outstanding races of the indoor season. Elaine Thompson is the best female sprinter in the world. It is very exciting to see her race in Britain for the first time since she won two gold medals in the 100m and 200m at the Olympic Games in Rio. After Usain Bolt, there is no one better in world sprinting. Dina Asher-Smith is improving all the time and their race at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham on 18 February is not to be missed.”

The Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham is a vital event for British athletes as they prepare for a year which will include two global championships in the UK; the World Para Athletics Championships and the IAAF World Championships London 2017. Then in March 2018, Birmingham will host the IAAF World Indoor Championships from 2-4 March.

The Müller Indoor Grand Prix is the number one ranked indoor grand prix in the world. Tickets are available at www.britishathletics.org.uk