Five-time Olympic champion takes on Britain’s Daryll Neita in Birmingham on February 19
Elaine Thompson-Herah, the Olympic 100m and 200m gold medallist at the Tokyo and Rio Games, will face home hope Daryll Neita over 60 metres at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham next month.
The Jamaican is the second-fastest woman of all time over 100m (10.54) and 200m (21.53), while over 60m she has a best of 6.98.
“I’m so excited to race in Birmingham to start my 2022 campaign,” said the 29-year-old. “I have enjoyed competing in the UK over the years and there is always a special atmosphere at this venue.
“I ran my PB at this arena in 2017 (6.98), so competing here means a lot to me. This year is a huge one. I have big goals for the World Athletics Championships later this summer, but first I’d like to give fans something to cheer about in Birmingham.”
Thompson-Herah is understood to be doing a very light indoor season and Birmingham could potentially be her only race. She will be up against a number of leading British athletes who are keen to test their ability against her. Dina Asher-Smith is missing the indoor season this year but the field will include Neita and fans will hope athletes like Amy Hunt and Asha Philip are also in the line-up.
Neita, Olympic relay bronze medallist in Tokyo and Rio and twice a World Championships silver medallist, had an outstanding 2021 during which she recorded lifetime best performances over 100m (10.93) and 200m (22.81). The 25-year-old finished eighth in the Olympic 100m final in Tokyo and is the second-fastest British athlete of all time. Her 60m best is 7.21 from February 2021.
“I’ve matured a lot as an athlete over the last couple of years and my mindset has really developed,” she said. “In training I would imagine having the top girls in the world next to me and now I’m racing against them, so I know I belong here.
“The last time I raced Elaine indoors was in Birmingham in 2017 when she won, and I was fifth. Although she remains faster than me, I have to believe that the gap has closed since then and that with the backing of our brilliant British supporters, I can be more competitive this time around.”
The Müller Indoor Grand Prix is the fifth meeting of the 2022 World Athletics Indoor Tour (Gold). There are seven ‘Gold’ level meetings across the series, starting with Karlsruhe on January 28 and culminating in Madrid on March 2.
READ MORE: Karlsruhe preview
In addition to Herah-Thompson, athletes who have already signed up for the Müller Indoor Grand Prix include Mondo Duplantis, Laura Muir, Keely Hodgkinson, Andy Pozzi and Grant Holloway.
» See the February issue of AW magazine for an exclusive interview with Elaine Thompson-Herah
» To buy tickets for the Müller Indoor Grand Prix or the UK Athletics Indoor Championships in Birmingham, CLICK HERE