Home favourites and world stars to descend on London for Müller Anniversary Games
Rutherford’s London farewell
The London Stadium has been the venue of so many unforgettable memories; but there is one moment in particular which will stay long in the memory for so many people: London 2012’s incredible ‘Super Saturday’. 44 magical minutes which saw Greg Rutherford, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah each win Olympic gold.
Those magical moments will no doubt be relived this weekend when Rutherford competes in the London Stadium for the final time, before he brings his glittering long jump career to a close at the end of the summer season.
The Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth champion has already said he wants to put on a show for the fans to thank them for all their support during his illustrious career, but, he will face stern competition from a stellar field in London.
All three medallists from the 2016 Olympic Games and last year’s World Championships will take to the runway, including Olympic champion Jeff Henderson and world and Commonwealth gold medallist Luvo Manyonga.
The men’s long jump competition will no doubt be one of the events of the weekend and, with the runway being raised in the London Stadium, spectators can expect a unique perspective to see Rutherford’s London farewell.
Muir targets milestone
Like Rutherford, Laura Muir certainly knows how to get the home crowd on its feet. At this event in 2016 the London Stadium was deafening as Muir produced one of the performances of her career to date to break Kelly Holmes’ British record over 1500m.
Two years later, Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s leading distance runner is back and this time with another record in her sights – the British mile record; a record she came agonisingly close to breaking 12 months ago.
Muir was less than half second outside Zola Budd’s 33-year-old record at last year’s event, but she is back 12 months later attempting to write herself into the history books once again.
The British runner - who finished second in the women’s mile last year - will be joined by some of the world’s best distance runners in the first ever Millicent Fawcett Mile, which has been named after the suffragist who was influential in securing the vote for British women 100 years ago.
Expect plenty of fireworks in the final event of the weekend, which features 5000m world champion and last year’s mile winner, Hellen Obiri, along with world medallists Jenny Simpson and Sifan Hassan.
Intriguing sprint match-ups
Along with the biggest British stars, the Müller Anniversary Games has continued to attract the biggest names from around the word and this year is no different.
Featuring nine Olympic and world medallists, boasting 21 Olympic and world medals between them, the men’s diamond 100m looks set to be one of the must-watch events of the weekend.
Heading the field will be the USA’s world 60m record holder Christian Coleman, who has become one of the biggest names on the international circuit. The US sprinter heads to London having claimed two world medals in less than 12 months, including 60m gold at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham in March.
Coleman will renew his rivalry with Ronnie Baker in London after Coleman edged his compatriot by 0.006 seconds in Rabat last Friday. Baker is the second fastest man in 2018 and one of thirteen of the 19 men competing in London have run under 10 seconds.
Double Olympic champion Yohan Blake will also be one-to-watch, while Adam Gemili, Ojie Edoburun and 9.91-man Zharnel Hughes will ensure there is plenty for the British crowds to cheer for.
The women’s sprints are going to be hotly-contested, too, especially the women’s 200m, featuring double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson and world champion Dafne Schippers.
Thompson produced one of the performances of last year’s event winning the 100m in flats, but the Jamaican will face stern competition. Global medallists Marie-Josee Ta Lou and Murielle Ahoure are also likely to be in the mix, while British record holder Dina Asher-Smith will have the backing of the home crowd.
Para stars to shine once again
Following the success of last year’s World Para Athletics Championships, many of the world’s best Para athletes are ready to shine again in London.
Multiple Paralympic and world champions Hannah Cockroft, Richard Whitehead and Marie-Amelie Le Fur are three of 15 Paralympic and world medallists in action along with world record holders Libby Clegg and Sophie Hahn, who will compete in the women’s T11 200m and T37/38 respectively.
Ten-time world champion and five-time Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft will compete in Sunday’s T34 100m alongside teenage superstar Kare Adenegan, while double Paralympic champion and four-time world champion Richard Whitehead heads a very competitive T61 200m field.
The women’s T47/64/44 long jump features reigning Paralympic and world champions, including T64 world record holder Marie-Amelie Le Fur.
World’s best to compete in London
For athletes competing in the five field events in London, this weekend represents the final chance to claim Diamond League points and secure their place in the finals of their respective field event.
The men’s pole vault will be the first field event to take place on Saturday and will see world champion and current Diamond League leader Sam Kendricks look to cement his spot at the top of the rankings.
The US pole vaulter will, however, come up against Olympic champion Thiago Braz da Silva along with 2012 Olympic champion and last year’s world silver medallist Renaud Lavillenie.
The women’s high jump will see world champion Mariya Lasitskene return to London alongside world indoor champion Vashti Cunningham and Commonwealth silver medallist Morgan Lake in what should be a brilliant battle.
British long jump champion and current world leader Lorraine Ugen will be aiming to continue her strong form in front of the home crowd in the women’s long jump, which also includes Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who will be in action on both Saturday and Sunday as she takes on the long jump and the high jump.
World 5000m champion Muktar Edris will return to the London Stadium 12 months after beating Mo Farah to gold in Farah’s last track race at last year’s World Championships, while Olympic and world champion Sandra Perkovic will compete in the women’s discus.
Other Olympic and world champions competing this weekend include Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad in the women’s 400m Hurdles, and world champion Karsten Warholm, and Olympic champion Kerron Clement in the men’s equivalent.
400m Hurdles world champion Kori Carter will compete in the women’s 100m Hurdles, while Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz takes on the men’s 1500m.
Full start lists can be viewed here: https://london.diamondleague.com/lists-results-london/
See the biggest stars at the Müller Anniversary Games on 21-22 July; for tickets visit: https://www.britishathletics.org.uk/events-and-tickets/muller-anniversary-games-2018/https://www.britishathletics.org.uk/events-and-tickets/muller-anniversary-games-2018/