The 2011 AVIVA Birmingham Grand Prix, the eighth stop on the 2011 Samsung Diamond League series, is now one for the record books. Held on a new Mondo track surface at the Alexander Stadium, the sell-out crowd of 15,000 plus was entertained by a very crisp program and some extremely competitive races.
Thanks to Universal NBC, we have highlights of the top races. Here were my favorites:
The men’s 100 meters shows that Asafa Powell is the king of the world right now. Powell and Bolt will clash in Daegu, with a completely different cast of characters than we have seen on most of the world stages. Face it, Jamaica is to sprints what Kenya is to distance running.
The men’s 5,000 meters. A new found confidence, shown in several races this year by Mo Farah, (remember the Nike Pre 10,000m?), is exhibited here once again, in probably the most exciting 5,000 meter race so far of the year. Notice the crucial work that Craig “Buster” Mottram and Collis Birmingham do to keep the pace honest. Farah’s win, and his team mate Rupp’s move on Merga are two highlights of this race!
Sally Pearson’s world leading 100m hurdle win, over Danielle Carruthers, was another highlight of the meet. Pearson, who has sprint talents as well as hurdle talents, controlled these races from start to finish.
Blanka Vlasic, high jump queen. Vlasic won here, as she was able to get up near two meters on Sunday, which portends well for the crucial part of this season.
Amante Monsho has been winning her races everywhere. The 400 meters for women is going to be a real battle.
Phillips Idowu, the 2009 WC gold medalist, won here over Teddy Tamgho, the world leader. This event, along with the men’s 110m hurdles and the women’s 100m hurdles, look to be the most competitive events in the World Championships.
And finally, Morgan Uceny. Morgan has been winning all season, and she is showing a presence of mind in her 1,500m races that puts her in the thick of the battle for a medal in Daegu, Korea. In Birmingham, Morgan moved perfectly through the field and held off her super last kick over 200 meters until it meant something!
And finally a tip of the hat to Ian Stewart, and the team at UK athletics, who know how to put on track meets. Nearly perfect pacing of the events, a strong on ground announcer and in stands announcing gave the fans up to date info on all of the major events.
2011 Diamond League Birmingham: Blanka Vlasic wins high jump
2011 Diamond League Birmingham: Phillips Idowu wins triple jump
2011 Diamond League Birmingham: Mohammed Farah wins 5000m
2011 Diamond League Birmingham: Asafa Powell wins 100m
2011 Diamond League Birmingham: Amantle Montsho wins 400m
2011 Diamond League Birmingham: Sally Pearson runs world-
2011 Diamond League Birmingham: Morgan Uceny wins 1500m
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