The women’s 100m at the Diamond League in Birmingham later this month now has a mouthwatering line-up after Olympic 100m and 200m gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica and Olympics medallists Shericka Jackson of Jamaica and Gabrielle Thomas of the United States, plus British sprinter Daryll Neita joined a line-up that already included world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith.
In Tokyo last summer, Thompson-Herah, 29, defended the 100m and 200m titles that she had won in Rio 2016 and improved her Rio relay silver with 4x100m gold. The Jamaican record holder over 100m (10.54) and 200m (21.53), she’s the second-fastest woman in the world of all-time behind Florence Griffith Joyner and she says: “I’m obviously very proud of what I’ve achieved in my career so far, but there are more goals I want to achieve in the sport, so I’m now motivated to work even harder.
“I enjoyed racing indoors earlier this year, and I was pleased with how I opened my outdoors, but my focus is on working hard each day and getting back onto the podium at the World Championships this summer.”
Neita, who finished eighth in the 100m final in Tokyo, ran a 10.93 PB in the Wanda Diamond League final in Zurich last year and finished the season ranked second-fastest British woman of all time behind Asher-Smith.
She says: “I was very focused going into last summer and I knew I was capable of going sub-11 seconds. I’d visualised lining up in the Olympic final against those incredible girls. I think you have to believe you belong there, and now I know that I do. I can’t wait to do it all over again this year and to get my season started in front of a home crowd in Birmingham.”
Jackson, Jamaica’s multiple Olympic and world medallist, took gold in the 4x100m and bronze in the 100m and 4x400m in Tokyo. A member of Jamaica’s World Championship winning 4x100m in 2019, the 27-year-old was also a double bronze medallist in Doha 2019 in the 400m and 4x400m. Her 100m lifetime best, achieved in the Tokyo final, is 10.76.
Thomas, Olympic silver medallist in the 4x100m, finished third in the Tokyo 200m. The 25-year-old Harvard graduate, who has a 100m best of 11.00, has opened her 2022 season in style. She equalled her best in the heats of the USATF Golden Games on April 16, before clocking a wind-assisted 10.86 in the final. Then, 24 minutes later, she ran 22.02 – the third-fastest time in the world this year to date – in the 200m. On April 23 she went even quicker over 100m at the Michael Johnson Invitational too with 10.80, but with a tailwind of +3.2m/sec.
Asher-Smith was announced for the Müller Birmingham Diamond League in March. The two-time Olympic relay bronze medallist – British record-holder over 100m (10.83) and 200m (21.88) – is the reigning world 200m champion and was the silver-medallist over 100m and 4x100m in Doha 2019. She is also a multiple European champion and won triple gold in Berlin in 2018 over 100m, 200m and 4x100m.
Completing the field are Ajla Del Ponte, the Swiss record-holder with 10.90 and European indoor 60m champion who was fifth in the Olympic 100m final; Anthonique Strachan of Bahamas, world under-20 champion over 100m and 200m in 2012 with a best of 10.99 from 2022; and Cambrea Sturgis of the United States, reigning NCAA champion over 100m and 200m and current world-leader with a best of 10.87.