Athletics

Asher-Smith set for Diamond League opener

Asher-Smith became the first British woman to win an individual medal in the world championships since Kathy Cook

British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith will face a high-quality field in her opening race of the 2021 season.

The 200m world champion will line up against four-time world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Olympic 100 and 200m champion Elaine Thompson-Herah in the 100m at the Muller Grand Prix in Gateshead on the 23 May.

Briton Amy Hunt, who is the world under-18 record-holder for 200m, and in-form American, Sha’Carri Richardson, will also join the line-up for the opening Diamond League event of 2021.

The race will provide an early indication of athletes’ form as they prepare for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Asher-Smith, who has only run in two 60m indoor races this year, said on social media: “It’s my first Diamond League since 2019 and I can’t wait. It’s been a long time coming!

“I’m so excited to get back out there, running the 100m.”

The meeting was originally scheduled to take place in Rabat, Morocco, but was relocated to the North East of England because of the coronavirus pandemic.

British Athletics has said it is hoping to be able to welcome back fans “in some capacity to the event”, but is also “remaining flexible” with ticket sales in order to stay in line with the government’s roadmap announcement.

For the Gateshead International Stadium, the event will be the first time it has staged an international grand prix meeting since 2010.

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