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Sanchez Signs for Birmingham

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Felix Sanchez


04 July 2011

Olympic gold medallist and two-time world champion Felix Sanchez is set for the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix , where he will line-up in a mouth-watering 400m hurdles competition against another former world champion Bershawn Jackson and Britain’s own European and Commonwealth champion Dai Greene.

Sanchez will return to the city where he stole the show in February’s Aviva Grand Prix at the NIA, taking first place in extraordinary fashion in the first ever indoor 400m hurdles competition to be held on UK shores.

The Dominican Republic hurdler made his opening Samsung Diamond League bout of 2011 in Lausanne on Thursday night, where he got a taste of the prowess of Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland star Greene, who stormed to victory in 48.41secs.

And the 33-year-old admits he is a big fan of the Welshman and looks forward to competing against him in packed-out Birmingham Alexander Stadium on Sunday.

Sanchez said: “I absolutely loved competing in Birmingham earlier in the year and I can’t wait to do it again. It was such a special atmosphere in the NIA and I'm sure it will be the same at the Birmingham Alexander  Stadium. Back then everyone was great with me and it’s going to be a real pleasure coming back to the city and meeting some lovely people again.

“I'm also really looking forward to be racing against Dai. I’ve been watching his races closely and I've been really impressed with the way he’s running so it’s going to be a big challenge.

“He’s up there with the most talented athletes in the world and I think he’s going to have a really successful career in the sport, so it’s nice to get the opportunity to line up against him on home soil.”

Meanwhile Tyson Gay has been ruled out of the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix after failing to recover from the hip injury which forced him out of the US Championships in Eugene last weekend.

The former world champion was hoping to recover in time for the inaugural Samsung Diamond League event in the west midlands, but is now focused on making a speedy recovery in time for him to take to the track at the Aviva London Grand Prix on 5-6 August.

The field for the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix is still one of the strongest in the competition, with the likes of Mo Farah, Phillips Idowu, Carmelita Jeter, Sanya Richards-Ross, Andreas Thorkildsen and Asafa Powell – who last night in Lausanne set a world-leading time of 9.78secs - all set to star.

The Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix will be at the Alexander Stadium on 10 July. The Aviva UK Trials and Championships will be at Alexander Stadium 29-31 July.  The Aviva London Grand Prix will be at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre 5-6 August. For tickets or more information go to uka.org.uk/aviva-series or phone 08000 556 056