8th June 2017
DIAMOND LEAGUE TEST FOR BRITS IN ROME
Eight Britons are set to continue their seasons at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome tonight (June 8), as the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea eventat the Stadio Olympico welcomes the fourth leg of the global athletics series.
European indoor 60m hurdles champion, Andy Pozzi (coach: Benke Blomkvist) equalled his 13.19 lifetime best for fifth place in the Eugene Diamond League less than a fortnight ago, and the 25-year-old will most likely be pulled to another swift time in the Italian capital by the likes of 2012 Olympic champion, Aries Merritt of the USA and Spain’s Olympic silver medallist, Orlando Ortega.
In the pole vault, Holly Bradshaw (Scott Simpson) is another athlete hoping to continue their fine vein of form. The 25-year-old set a British record with a superb 4.80m clearance in Manchester late last month, and the 2013 European indoor champion will have America’s five-meter jumper and Olympic runner-up, Sandi Morris for good company.
CJ Ujah (Jonas Dodoo), 23, will be planning to consolidate his third place 100m finish in Eugene and improve upon his 10.10 2017 best by taking on the USA’s Ronnie Baker, the NCAA 60m indoor champion and France’s Rio 2016 Olympic finalist, Jimmy Vicaut – both of whom have dipped under the 10-second barrier this season.
Olympic bronze 4x400m medallist and 2014 European 400m hurdles champion, Eilidh Doyle (Malcolm Arnold) will be hoping to blow off some more of the early-season cobwebs with a run against two-time world champion, Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic – the 30-year-old Scot has registered a rusty 56.23 to date.
In the women’s 100m, Olympic 4x100m bronze medallist, Desiree Henry (Rana Reider) will join her training partner, world silver medallist and world 200m champion, Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands. The 21-year-old Brit recorded 11.09 in California back in April and will aim to return to form in Rome.
European 3,000m indoor bronze medallist, Eilish McColgan (Liz Nuttall) ran close to her lifetime best with a 15:07.43 clocking for sixth position in Eugene, and the 26-year-old will tackle the 5,000m here alongside fellow Scot, Steph Twell (Mick Woods).
A European outdoor bronze medallist in the discipline, the 27-year-old makes her seasonal debut over the distance following a narrow miss at the British Athletics 10,000m qualifying time for the IAAF World Championships in London, with a swift 32:16.23 on her debut late last month.
Ethiopia’s world indoor record holder, Genzebe Dibaba and 2012 world indoor 3,000m champion, Hellen Obiri of Kenya will ensure a hot pace.
Elsewhere, Olympic finalist Morgan Lake (Aston Moore) will be looking to replicate the form which took her to a recent 1.91m high jump season’s best, as the 20-year-old heptathlete faces Russia’s world champion and global leader, Mariya Lasitskene.