World champion Dina Asher-Smith will start her competitive countdown to this summer’s Olympic Games by taking on a world-class field in the 100 metres on home soil at the Grand Prix in Gateshead on May 23.
The event is the first meeting in the 2021 Diamond League series and Asher-Smith could hardly have picked a tougher race to begin her season as she faces Jamaican duo Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah, plus in-form American Sha’Carri Richardson.
Fraser-Pryce won Olympic 100m gold in 2008 and 2012, whereas in 2019 she beat Asher-Smith in Doha to claim her fourth world 100m title.
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Thompson-Herah is the reigning Olympic 100m and 200m champion. Richardson, meanwhile, clocked a sizzling 10.72 earlier this month to go sixth on the world all-time rankings.
Asher-Smith won the world 200m title in Doha two years ago and her only competitions so far in 2021 have been two indoor 60m races in Germany.
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The British record-holder said: "I’m so excited to be running at the Müller Grand Prix Gateshead. It’s going to be my first Diamond League of 2021 and my first Diamond League since 2019 and I can’t wait. It’s been a long time coming.
"I’m so excited to get back out there, running the 100m. It’s going to be so much fun. So 23rd of May, here we come!"
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