100m winner Dina Asher-Smith at the IAAF World Junior Championships, Oregon 2014 (© Getty Images)
British teenage talent Dina Asher-Smith is relishing the prospect of lining up against four-time Olympic champion Allyson Felix on a track she considers to be a second home when she competes over 200m at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix, an IAAF Diamond League meeting, on Sunday.
"I've got such a great opportunity to race here, which you don't get very often, so I need to grab it. Any female sprinter wants to be like Allyson Felix, she is an absolutely amazing athlete and young people do look up to her,” said 2014 world junior 100m champion Asher-Smith, who recently improved the British record to 11.02.
“I've been racing at the Alexander Stadium since I was 13 so I have many good memories. It is like a second track home for me,” she added.
Smith's superb 2015, following on from her world junior title last year, has seen her also take the 60m silver medal at the European Indoor Championships in March.
However, Felix has also been in outstanding form as well, not least speeding to a 200m time of 21.98 in Doha three weeks ago, the fastest time in the world since she herself won at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Richard Kilty went one better than Asher Smith in Prague and won the European indoor 60m title to add to the 60m world indoor title he won 12 months before in Poland.
Kilty will face stiff opposition in the men's 100m from his speedy compatriots Adam Gemili and Chijindu Ujah as well as veteran St Kitts’ evergreen Kim Collins, who recently ran 9.99.
He recorded a 100m personal best of 10.09 in Italy last month and will be looking to go faster still, and continue to shed his reputation as predominantly and indoor specialist, in Britain’s second city.
“I'm really looking forward to some world class performances, we've got numerous world and Olympic champions competing. My outdoor season has got off to a good start. I ran a personal best of 10.09 so it's looking pretty positive at the moment. Another personal best would be nice,” said Kilty.
Going under 10 seconds and 11 seconds respectively surely beckons for Kilty and Asher-Smith, the question is, will either of them be able to produce a barrier-breaking performance on Sunday.
Phil Minshull and organisers for the IAAF
2015 IAAF Diamond League calendar
Doha, QAT – 15 May
Shanghai, CHN – 17 May
Eugene, USA – 30 May
Rome, ITA – 4 June
Birmingham, GBR – 7 June
Oslo, NOR – 11 June
New York, USA – 13 June
Paris, FRA – 4 July
Lausanne, SUI – 9 July
Monaco, MON – 17 July
London, GBR – 24-25 July
Stockholm, SWE – 30 July
Zurich, SUI – 3 September
Brussels, BEL – 11 September