Men’s 1,500 meters, 2022 Muller British GP, photo by Martin Bateman
W1,500m: Laura Muir leads Jessica Hull, 2022 Muller British GP, photo by Martin Bateman
Keely Hodgkinson takes the 800m, 2022 Muller British Grand Prix, photo by Martin Bateman
The middle distances always entertain the British audience in Birmingham. And this last weekend was no exception! The men’s 800m, women’s 800m and both men’s 1,500m and women’s 1,500m were superb races. Stuart Weir, as usual, captures the essence of the races.
Laura Muir is getting into championship shape. Keely Hodgkinson is looking like a world beater. Abel Kipsang is on fire and Marco Arop continues to impress.
And again, killer photos by Martin Bateman.
The middle distance looked to be among the meet highlights at the Birmingham Diamond League and the races lived up to expectations! The event is arguably the host nation’s biggest strength at the moment.
Marco Arop (Photo from 2021 Nike Pre Classic), photo by Diamond League AG
The men’s 800 was won by Marco Arop (Canada) in 1:45.41 with Bryce Hoppel third (1:46.33) and Jake Wightman fourth (1:46.39). Wycliffe Kinyamal, Clayton Murphy, Daniel Rowden, and Peter Bol finished 6-9th.
Arop commented: “I did exactly what I planned today, I was in race mode. I knew coming into the race it wouldn´t be easy but we are all fresh at this time of the year so I tried to stay out of trouble. I did a hard training session yesterday so wasn´t sure how the body would respond but it turned out pretty well and I am excited going forward. It is good to reflect on back-to-back racing.
I am going to take a short break now and focus on the champs”.
Men’s 1,500m: Ollie Hoare, Abel Kipsang, Mohamed Katir, Josh Kerr, photo by Martin Bateman
In the men’s 1500, Abel Kipsang, kept up his good form, finishing first in 3:35.15 from Mohamed Katir and Oliver Hoare. British hope, Josh Kerr was fifth (3:35.92) – fifth but only 0.7 seconds behind. It is a sport of small margins.
Laura Muir pushes the pace, Jessica Hull hangs close, W 1500m, photo by Martin Bateman
Laura Muir won the 1500m in 4:02.81 from Jessica Hull and Winny Chebet. Muir’s training partner, Jemma Reekie was fifth (4:07.01). Muir followed the pacemaker and then controlled the race. Muir commented: “To come here and win in my first race of the season I am really, really happy. The win was more important than the time in my first race especially as it was quite windy out there. It was a solid performance and running from the front too. I am looking forward to getting my first sub-4 this year but happy to nail the World Champs standard early in the season. There were no natural front runners in the race so I thought I needed to be prepared to take it out”.
Laura Muir, Jessica Hull, W 1,500m, Birmingham, photo by Martin Bateman
Muir, who had an injury earlier this year, told me: “I am fully recovered from the injury. Not quite as 100% yet but very close and getting faster every week. By the summer I’ll be competitive. The track is great, so different from the old Alexander stadium, and is really great to be part of it”.
She also confirmed that she would be back for the Commonwealth Games: “I’m going to do the three championships, 1500 at worlds and Commonwealth. Not too sure about Europeans but probably 15 again. The next race is Pre”.
Keely Hodgkinson leads the 800m, Birmingham, photo by Martin Bateman
Keely Hodgkinson won the 800m in 1:58.63 from Renelle Lamote (1:59.53) and Natoya Goule (2:00.13). GB’s Alexandra Bell, a Tokyo finalist was fifth (2:00.67), commenting: “It felt good out there today, I felt strong and I really enjoyed it. I was pleased with the time for my outdoor opener. It was a bit windy. I could see Goule out the corner of my eye getting close to me on the final straight but I felt in control and was able to wind it up a bit right to the end. The atmosphere was very special with so much support for the British athletes out there. It is lovely for us to have that support. I am heading to Pre now and expecting a big battle but it will be a great experience for me”.
Keely Hodgkinson, Natalie Goule, Birmingham, photo by Martin Bateman