5th June 2019


Dina Asher-Smith (club: Blackheath & Bromley; coach: John Blackie) will compete for the first time in the 100m this year as she bids for a third successive Diamond League victory with the circuit moving across Europe to Rome.

The triple European champion has proved unstoppable over 200m, winning in both Doha and then Stockholm last time out at a canter, lowering her world lead from 22.26 to 22.18 but she does face a different test altogether in Italy in the form of Marie-Josee Ta Lou and Aleia Hobbs.

Asher-Smith is one of nine Brits set to compete in Rome with fellow European champion Laura Muir (Dundee Hawkhill; Andy Young) also looking for a successive win but facing a test herself from Olympic silver medallist Genzebe Dibaba in the 1500m.

Rome marks the second time the women’s 100m is included on the list of Diamond League events this season with Asher-Smith’s rival American Hobbs winning the opening race in Shanghai last month in 11.03.

Hobbs hasn’t been beaten in almost two years but world silver medallist Ta Lou, who beat Asher-Smith twice from their three meetings in 2018, is yet to compete outdoors this season. Remarkably, all three athletes have the same 10.85 personal best.

Meanwhile European champion Muir heads to Rome having won the 1500m in Stockholm and will meet Dibaba for the first time since last year’s World Indoor Championships as this race takes on full Diamond League status.

On that occasion in Birmingham, Dibaba took two golds to Muir’s silver and bronze while she will have company from fellow Brit Eilish McColgan (Dundee Hawkhill; Liz Nuttall), who in Stockholm ran under the qualifying time for the 5,000m for the IAAF World Championships.

Elsewhere, European silver medallist Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (Newham & Essex Beagles; Lance Brauman) will run in a competitive 200m field including world champion Ramil Guliyev, the fastest man over 100m this year Noah Lyles and world No.1 in the 400m Michael Norman.

World indoor champion Andrew Pozzi (Stratford; Santiago Antunez) is back out over 110m hurdles with his season’s best standing at 13.39 from the Shanghai Diamond League while Lorraine Ugen (Thames Valley; Shawn Jackson) and Shara Proctor (Birchfield Harriers; Rana Reider) continue their rivalry in another competitive long jump field including Caterine Ibarguen, Malaika Mihambo and Ivana Spanovic.

Andrew Butchart (Central) is back out over 5,000m after a second place at the London 10k over the Bank Holiday weekend ten days ago and having gone 13:18.16 over 12 and a half laps on his outdoor season opener at the start of May in the USA.

After appearances on the flat, Zak Seddon (Bracknell; Jeff Seddon) will compete in his first 3000m steeplechase of the season with the qualifying time for the event for the IAAF World Championships 8:29.00, which he beat twice last year.