2nd May 2019
ASHER-SMITH AND FELLOW BRITS READY FOR DIAMOND LEAGUE OPENER
Last year’s triple European champion Dina Asher-Smith (coach: John Blackie; club: Blackheath & Bromley) will open her 2019 season for good as eight British athletes help kick off the Diamond League season in Doha.
Asher-Smith, who won European gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay back in August, and fellow Berlin medallists Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (Lance Brauman; Newham & Essex Beagles), Shara Proctor (Rana Reider; Birchfield Harriers) and Meghan Beesley (Michael Baker; Birchfield Harriers) are among the leading British names set for action.
Proctor will be joined in the women’s long jump field by Lorraine Ugen (Shawn Jackson; Thames Valley) while Asher-Smith will have company in the 200m from fellow Brit and clubmate Shannon Hylton (Blackie; Blackheath & Bromley), former European champion Lynsey Sharp (David Harmer; Edinburgh) goes in the 800m and Charlie Myers (Chris Boundy; Middlesbrough) lines up in the pole vault.
Like Ugen, Asher-Smith ended 2018 as the world leader in the 200m and it is over this distance in which she will open her season proper in Doha with competition coming from last year’s global No.2 Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor.
Asher-Smith was the only woman to break 22 seconds last year with her 21.89 British record set on the way to gold in Berlin 0.25 better than anyone else and she’ll compete individually for the first time after running a 4x400m relay for her club last month.
Hylton has credentials as the British 200m champion from 2017 while Proctor and Ugen are back in action as the women’s long jump once again looks to be among the most competitive events on the circuit.
Ugen finished as the world lead in 2018 as the only woman over seven metres, with an effort of 7.05m, while Proctor claimed European bronze and at this meeting back in 2015 set a then British record 6.95m. In Doha, five of the top eight in the world from 2018 are in action including the reigning Diamond League jump in the triple jump as well as long jump Caterine Ibarguen.
European silver medallist Mitchell-Blake will meet continental champion Ramil Guliyev in Doha in the men’s 200m after opening his outdoor season over 100m close to his base in Florida at the start of the week.
Sharp is now back training in the UK under the tutelage of David Harmer and is a solid performer on the circuit, winning in Brussels last season and finishing third at the Müller Anniversary Games in London.
Beesley enjoyed a fine 2018 with European bronze over the 400m hurdles in Berlin and enjoyed a productive 2019 indoor season over the flat 400m on the boards with victories in Sheffield and Athlone.
Pole vaulter Myers was too useful early this year adding the British indoor title to the outdoor crown he won for the first time in 2018. He leapt 5.45m in Birmingham in February and has the capability to go beyond his personal best of 5.60m this season.
Watch coverage live on Eurosport 2 from 17:00 on Friday. If you can’t watch live, highlights will be on BBC1 from 13:15 on Saturday 4 May.