Triple world and double Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya has been confirmed as the next headline star to compete at next month’s Grand Prix Birmingham IAAF Diamond League Meeting on Saturday, August 18.
Serving as her first-ever race in Birmingham, the South African star will compete over 1 500m at the Alexander Stadium, eager to build on her UK successes following her triumphs at the London 2012 Olympics and last summer’s IAAF World Championships.
“It has been such an amazing 12 months for me and I cannot wait to continue it by competing back in the UK again and in Birmingham for the first time,” Semenya said.
She may be targeting her own South African record time of 3:59.92 she set at the Diamond League opener in Doha in early May.
The 27-year-old is also expected to emerge as one of the biggest stars at the African Championships which begin on Wednesday in Asaba, Nigeria, where she will compete in at least three events and possibly four if the amended schedule will allow.
Among those joining Semenya in the Birmingham race is five-time world championship medallist Sifan Hassan of The Netherlands.
Hassan impressively won the inaugural Millicent Fawcett mile in London less than two weeks ago in a time of 4:14.71, the fourth-quickest women’s mile time in history, and is sure to relish returning to Birmingham having set Dutch records on her previous two outings in the city.
Also set to be present is Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay, an athlete who carries extraordinary range with sub-2:00, sub-4:00 and sub-15:00 minute personal best times for 800m, 1 500m and 5 000m respectively.
World championship finalists Winny Chebet of Kenya and Laura Weightman and Sarah McDonald of Great Britain will also be in the hunt.