Birmingham Diamond League preview; loaded women’s 100m, men’s mile

Mo Farah
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The track and field season is winding down with three Diamond League meets to go. The last meet before the two-legged Diamond League finals is Sunday in Birmingham, England, and there are a few savory events.

Cheers will be loudest for Mo Farah, who was forced to miss the biggest meet in Great Britain this year due to illness, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, a month ago.

A world record could fall in the men’s high jump, the fastest woman this year takes on a far more decorated group and the world’s elite gather in the men’s mile.

Here are five events to watch:

Men’s High Jump — 10:09 a.m. ET

Ukraine’s Bohdan Bondarenko and Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim will take another crack at a 21-year-old world record they have both had attempts at this year.

The record is 2.45m, held by Cuban Javier Sotomayor. Bondarenko and Barshim have both cleared 2.42m this year.

Women’s 100m — 10:33 a.m.

There were 16 women on the entry list as of this publishing, which means heats. The field includes the reigning Olympic and World champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the 2011 World champion Carmelita Jeter, the Olympic 200m champion Allyson Felix and the fastest woman in the world this year, American Tori Bowie.

As accomplished as the field is, Bowie’s world-leading 10.80 is two tenths better than the other 15 sprinters this year.

Women’s 100m Hurdles — 11:29 a.m.

The field includes the last two Olympic champions — Sally Pearson and Dawn Harper-Nelson — and the reigning World champion — Brianna Rollins. It’s a rarity that they convene at the same meet.

The Aussie Pearson’s mission is to break up American dominance in this event this season. The 10 fastest times have been run by Americans, spread across four women. The only one of that quartet not in this race is Lolo Jones, who ended her season early to rest after two years of doing summer and winter sports.

Men’s Mile — 11:38 a.m.

Kenyan Asbel Kiprop runs in his first Diamond League meet since a failed attempt at Hicham El Guerrouj‘s world 1500m record in Monaco on July 18. He is the two-time reigning World champion in the 1500m.

The man who beat Kiprop in Monaco, with the fastest time in nearly 10 years, is also in the mile field in Birmingham. That’s countryman Silas Kiplagat. As is the fastest miler this year, Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman. Top Americans Leo Manzano and Matthew Centrowitz will have their hands full.

Men’s Two Miles — 11:48 a.m.

This is not a Diamond League or Olympic distance, but it includes Britain’s greatest active track and field athlete, double Olympic champion Mo Farah. Farah, who finished eighth in his first marathon in London April 13, is focusing on the track again and swept the 5000m and 10,000m at the European Championships earlier this month in Zurch.

Among Farah’s competition is American Will Leer.

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