Stuart Weir is right. The top event in Birmingham was the women’s 200 meters. And even after such a satisfying race, one is still confounded about how the women’s 200m in Doha will play out. That, in my mind, keeps the event quite exciting!
This is how Stuart Weir saw the furlong at the Alexander stadium.
A stellar women’s 200.
The final event of the Muller Grand Prix, Birmingham Diamond League was the women’s 200. It really was top of the bill with a stellar field, including:
Dina Asher-Smith – 2018 World Lead and European Champion
Dafne Schippers – 2017 and 2015 World Champion
Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce – 2019 Pan Am champion, 2013 World Champion
Blessing Okabare – 2014 Commonwealth Champion
Marie-Josee Ta Lou – 2017 World silver medal
Dez Bryant – 2019 US champion
Shaunae Miller-Uibo – 2018 Diamond League Champion
(Only honors in the 200 included!)
The race did not disappoint Miller-Uibo made the fastest start but did not maintain her impetus. Dina Asher-Smith had a great run, side by side with Shelly-Ann. Schippers, Bryant and Okagbare were not with the leaders. Asher-Smith got daylight between herself and SAFP. Then Miller-Uibo came with a late run to win.
Shaunae Miller-Uibo 22.24
Dina Asher-Smith 22.36
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce 22.50
Dafne Schippers 22.81
Blessing Okagbare 22.83
Dezerea Brant 22.84
The top three commented afterwards:
Shaunae Miller-Uibo: “The race didn’t go to plan. My start was just horrible and had to rely on that 400m speed to get through. It was really great, the crowd is always supporting. I’m feeling good. Before the race we had an idea of how we wanted the race to go and it didn’t go as planned so I’m happy for the win and ready to move on to the next”.
Dina Asher-Smith: “I am really happy to have finished second in that race although having said that, I am a competitor so obviously I want to win every race. To maintain my form and finish strongly against arguably the best 400m runner in the world is good so all in all, I am happy with that race.
“When I am on the start line I always try to pick off the girls outside me to hunt down but I remember looking today and thinking if I can get any of those women today it would be a blessing. Normally I think I want to be ahead of this one by 60m, this one by 80m but today I looked and thought it is what it is. And that doesn’t happen too often which is a testament to the meet organisers for getting that field together for today.
“It is always my plan to run a strong bend even if I am not in the lead but in a field like that you don’t want to have a big distance to make up but equally I can’t be fixated on it as someone like Shelly-Ann who could be in front of me and I don’t want that to mess me up so just a strong position off the bend. I thought I did that and I was really happy but next time I will be looking to be a little bit further ahead of Shaunae to give me a little bit more chance in the latter stages”.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce: “The 200m is something I’m still trying to master, it’s still taking some time! I’ve been more 200s recently and looking forward to getting more in.” Speaking of juggling being a mother and an athlete, she added: “It’s a lot of work and sacrifice, takes up a lot of your time – it’s exhausting. But it’s also a lot of fun and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else and he has given me so much courage and strength and it’s good to know I’ve always got someone depending on me”.
Are we any clearer as to who will win the World Championship? I don’t think we are. We know that Miller-Uibo will only contest the 400. Dina is strong, Shelly is getting stronger and Dafne is the double defending champion. Watch this space!