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best of british set for sainsbury's birmingham grand prix

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David Smith

Two of Britain’s top high jump athletes treated the public to a unique training session in Birmingham’s Victoria Square to mark one month to go until the Sainsbury's Birmingham Grand Prix.

The city centre landmark was transformed into an athletics training facility, with spectators enjoying a lunchtime exhibition from Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz and British Universities champion David Smith.

The event was staged ahead of the world’s best athletes arriving in the city for the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix and came on the same day that 24 of Britain's best athletes, including Olympic champion Greg Rutherford and world champion Christine Ohuruogu, confirmed their participation for the Diamond League event on 7 June.

Robbie Grabarz, who trains and lives in Birmingham, said: “Birmingham has a long history of athletics and it was great to give the people of the city a unique insight into how we train. It was fantastic to see such enthusiasm from people in Victoria Square, and I’m sure people in the city will be looking forward to next month’s Sainsbury’s Grand Prix and the Sainsbury’s British Championships in July.”

British record holder Rutherford will face a top class long jump field in June and is anticipating an exciting event at the Alexander Stadium.

Rutherford said: “I love competing in Birmingham and I can’t wait for the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix. It’s a World Championships year and I’m determined to win the only major title that I’m missing from my cabinet. Everything is geared to that aim and if I can beat my main rivals in Birmingham in June it will set me up perfectly for the rest of the year.”

2008 Olympic champion Ohuruogu, who set a new British record of 49.41 as she regained the 400m world title in Moscow in 2013, will race look to get her season off to a strong start.

She said: “The Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix will be really important for me to make sure I start my season well. Defending my title at the World Championships in Beijing is the main target for 2015 but I want to run well in every race, especially on home soil in front of British fans. I’m excited to pull my spikes on and get back out on the track.”

A total of 24 GB & NI internationals have today confirmed their participation at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix. A full list of British athletes confirmed as competing is below:

Men

100m:

Adam Gemili

Richard Kilty

Chijindu Ujah

300m:

Matthew Hudson-Smith

Martyn Rooney

800m:

Guy Learmonth

Andrew Osagie

1500m:

Mo Farah

Chris O’Hare

110m hurdles:

Lawrence Clarke

Long jump:

Greg Rutherford

Chris Tomlinson

Women

200m:

Dina Asher-Smith

Jodie Williams

400m:

Christine Ohuruogu

800m:

Jenny Meadows

Laura Muir

1500m:

Laura Weightman

Jessica Judd

100m hurdles:

Lucy Hatton

Tiffany Porter

400m hurdles:

Eilidh Child

High jump:

Morgan Lake

Isobel Pooley

To buy tickets to the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix visit http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/british-athletics-series/sainsburys-birmingham-grand-prix/.