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Johnson-Thompson to take on Thiam in Birmingham long jump

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Published in Athletics
Tuesday, 30 July 2019 11:07

Heptathletes will go head-to-head at Müller Grand Prix

Olympic, world and European heptathlon champion Nafissatou Thiam will face Commonwealth heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson in the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham long jump on August 18.

It will be the first time the pair have competed against each other since last summer’s European Championships in Berlin, where Johnson-Thompson secured silver behind Thiam.

The event, which takes place just six weeks before the start of the IAAF World Championships in Doha, will be the Belgian athlete’s first Diamond League meeting in the UK.

Thiam achieved a world-leading heptathlon performance of 6819 points, despite an elbow problem, on her return after injury in Talence at the end of June.

The 24-year-old cleared 2.02m for a world high jump best within a heptathlon, plus a Belgian long jump record of 6.67m, on her way to victory that day.

Johnson-Thompson’s long jump PB is 6.93m, which ranks her third on the UK all-time list.

Also announced for the field are world indoor champion Ivana Spanovic of Serbia and Britain’s world and European medallist Lorraine Ugen.

“I am really looking forward to competing at the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham; it will be my first ever Diamond League meeting in the UK so there is a real mixture of intrigue and excitement for me,” said Thiam.

“I remember how amazing the British crowd were when I won at the world championships in London, so it is hugely exciting to be heading back to the UK to compete.

“Competing against what I know will be a very strong field, including Katarina who I am obviously familiar with, will be great preparation for the world championships in Doha, where I am aiming to defend my title, and I’m sure it will be an exciting competition for the fans there in Birmingham.”

Johnson-Thompson won her second European indoor pentathlon title in Glasgow in March and followed that up by winning the heptathlon in Götzis with a personal best and then-world-leading score of 6813 points.

Heading into Birmingham with a long jump season’s best of 6.68m, set in Götzis, Johnson-Thompson said: “I’m really excited to be competing in the long jump at the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham. I’m hoping to produce a good, consistent series of jumps in front of my home crowd as part of my preparations towards the World Championships in Doha.

“The athletes that compete in the UK Diamond Leagues are always so strong across all the events and this will be no different. With the talent we have in British long jumping and the likes of Ivana Spanovic and Nafi Thiam also competing, it will be a great competition to be a part of. Hopefully our performances can match the British crowd who are always amazing.”

Tickets for the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham and Müller British Athletics Championships are on sale at theticketfactory.com/british-athletics

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