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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mo Farah Center Stage at Birmingham Diamond League


Britain's double Olympic champion Mo Farah will be the main draw at Sunday's Diamond League meeting in Birmingham.
Farah, who won gold in both the 5,000m and 10,000m, will try to break Steve Ovett's 1978 two mile world record.
America's Aries Merritt will also attempt to set a new world record in the 110m hurdles.
Merritt's personal best of 12.92 seconds, set when winning his Olympic title, was 0.05 seconds slower than Dayron Robles' current record.
"I think the hurdles world record is attainable," declared Merritt, who false-started in Thursday's Diamond League meeting in Lausanne.
"I just need to have conditions and obviously stay in the blocks. The plan is to get it this season.
"I attempt it every time I get on the track. It didn't happen (in Lausanne), so now I will try for it here."
Steve Ovett's outdoor mark of eight minutes, 13.51 seconds for the two miles could be threatened by Farah, 29, who broke the indoor record at the distance earlier this year.
Tyson Gay will run in the 200m, his first competitive appearance at the distance in two years.



"I feel like my body is ready for the longer sprint again," said the 30-year-old, the 2007 world champion at 200m.
Team GB's Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford will face the triple jump winner, American Christian Taylor.
Surprise champion Rutherford will also be up against Australia's Mitchell Watt and American Will Claye , who took silver and bronze respectively in London.
Olympic gold and silver medallists Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica and Carmelita Jeter of the United States will again go head-to-head over 100m.
Also in action in Birmingham will be 38 other medallists - 13 of them gold - from London 2012.
Christian Malcolm, who made the semi-finals in the 200m and Adam Gemili - who did likewise in the 100m - both line up in the 200m.
Meanwhile, Robbie Grabarz believes his high jump bronze at London 2012 is just a taste of things to come. The 24-year-old from Cambridgeshire will compete in Birmingham, but is already setting his sights on next year.
Grabarz, who became Britain's first European high jump champion for 52 years in June, cleared 2.29m in the Olympic Stadium but believes he has the potential for much more as he starts the long preparation for Rio 2016.
"Last year I would have bitten anyone's hand off to be in that Olympic final, let alone get a medal," he said.
"Looking back, even immediately I was frustrated with only jumping 2.29.
"There's loads of improvements I can make and I no way feel maxed out in any area. I know there's a lot to work on and my coach and I will sit down at the end of the season and discuss where we want to go.
"You're adding small percentages to what you've already got. If every competition I jump one bar higher that would be phenomenal."
Grabarz set a personal best of 2.36m in New York in June and knows he had the potential to do more at the Olympics.
He said: "I could have jumped higher and I should have jumped higher but at the same time I'm not letting that detract from the fact that I got an Olympic bronze medal.
"Coming from 44th in the world to winning an Olympic medal is no mean feat and it's a credit to the hard work I've done and it feels like I've been rewarded very well for it, but there's always going to be a little bit of me that wants more."
Britain's Perri Shakes-Drayton will be trying to put aside the disappointment she faced at London 2012 because of injury.
The 23-year-old narrowly missed out on a place in the 400m hurdles final after only finishing third in her semi-final.
"During the warm-up I felt my hamstring tighten up," she said. "I tried my best to make it feel better but in my mind I knew it didn't feel right.
"The opportunity of being at the Olympics, I'm not going to pull out. I was hoping I was going to pull though.
"Like a lot of people have said, I didn't look like the same athlete that people noticed in the heat."
The London-born athlete will now try to replicate her personal best of 53.78 secs which she clocked at Crystal Palace last month.
"I'm hoping to end on a high. That's my aim," she said. "I'm going to go out there and try to win but these girls are top girls and I'm just hoping to go out there and do my thing.
"I feel 100% fit. I feel good. With my event you can't really judge what's going to happen so I've just got to go out there and try and stay in contention."

Credit bbc