This is a fun piece by Stuart Weir on the exciting hurdle races from last week’s Muller British Grand Prix, or the Birmingham Diamond League. Stuart Weir gives us an analysis of the hurdles races and how it could play out at the upcoming World Champs, just fifty days away.
Hansle Parchment battles Omar McLeod, photo by Martin Bateman
Dalilah Muhammed, 400m hurdles, 2022 Birmingham DL, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics
There were two great hurdles races at the Birmingham Diamond League.
In the men’s 110m hurdles, it was all about 2 Jamaicans, Omar McLeod, 2017 World Champion, and Hansle Parchment 2021 Olympic champion. There were just 0.08 seconds in it with Parchment winning in 13.09. Andrew Pozzi, carrying home hopes was fifth in 13.39.
Parchment commented: “As Olympic champions, I do not feel any pressure but I just tried to execute my own race but also to feel less tense and help others to relax. I am pleased with a world leader but it is very early in the season so you can´t read too much into it at the moment.
“It is awesome to have my compatriots here and we can talk to each other and have some fun. We are all teammates and we will be looking for a 1-2-3 at the world championships. It was a great turnout here, more than I expected, and there will be even more here at the Commonwealth Games with perhaps more Jamaicans making some noise and bringing their own vibes! Now I am concentrating on the trials so I will take a break to prepare”.
McLeod said: “It was a season´s best so that is good although it wasn’t the cleanest of races, to be honest. I am very happy for us both (Hansle Parchment) to get these results and push each other harder, keep building and try and get faster with every race. It is a fast track for sure so I am already looking forward to coming back for a fast time at the Commonwealths”.
Add Ronald Levy to the mix and Grant Holloway could find three Jamaicans lining up with him in Oregon, all very capable of making life tough for him.
Dalilah Muhammad won the 400h in 54.54. With Sydney McLaughlin breaking the world record in Tokyo, it is easy to forget what a great athlete Muhammad is and how she dominated the event. Her reflection was: “I gave it all I had in the race but it wasn´t the best but I cannot be too disappointed with the win. I really wanted to get the best out of the race that I could. Sometimes it is hard if you are the favorite. You can play it safe but today I thought I am not going to play it safe I am going to try something else. So I really worked hard for the win out there. It wasn’t 100% according to plan but I am very happy overall. Preparation has gone well and I feel I can go faster. The focus starts to move now to the US championships”.
Don’t count Dalilah out of the mix for Oregon.
Behind Muhammad came Viktoriya Tkachuk and Anna Ryzhykova, both from Ukraine. Their comments put sport in perspective.
Tkachuk: “I had a lot of emotion coming to this competition because I want to support my country, I want to show to all the world that we are a strong country and I want to support my family and my country. For me, it was important to compete because it was so hard to train when my family are in a dangerous place. But I am happy to help visibility and be here because our soldiers, our people protect our country and I am proud of my country”.
Ryzhykova said: “I’m really happy with third and really happy to be here, it was a pleasure for me to race with the support of the crowd. They gave me so much applause and I want to thank the crowd and Great Britain for all their support for Ukraine.
It is very hard mentally because I am checking the news and calling my parents, my husband, and my family who live in Ukraine. It is a pleasure to be part of the Diamond League and it is really important to me that I am here and trying to do my best for my country”.
In the battle of the Brits, the fast-improving Lina Nielsen was fourth in 55.40 with Jessie Knight fifth in 55.50.