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nine brits to compete at paris diamond league

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Laura Muir (coach: Andy Young) heads up a nine strong group of British athletes set to compete at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris tomorrow evening.

The British champion and national record holder will compete in her first competitive 1500m race since returning from Rio, where she confirmed her potential with an impressive seventh place finish in her debut Olympics. In a highly competitive field, Muir will cross paths once again with many of the finalists from Rio, including newly crowned Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon (KEN).

Olympic 4x100m bronze medallist Desiree Henry (Rana Reider) faces a world class field in the 200m as she lines up against reigning world champion Dafne Schippers (NED) and 4x100m Olympic silver medallist Simone Facey (JAM). Riding high on confidence after a successful debut Games, the Enfield and Haringey athlete, who ran the second leg of the relay in Rio, will look to make a statement in her lesser performed event.

In the women's long jump, Shara Proctor (Rana Reider) will aim to re-find the promising form that saw her leap to a silver medal at the world indoors earlier this year in Portland, whilst her compatriot Lorraine Ugen (Shawn Jackson) will hope to add distance to her best of 6.71m, a jump which was good enough to claim second in Lausanne on Thursday.

The British pair will face stern competition in Ivana Spanovic (SER) and Tianna Bartoletta (USA). Track and field specialist Bartoletta is Olympic champion in the discipline, whilst European champion and Olympic bronze medallist Spanovic holds an enormous lead in the Diamond Race and will no doubt prove hard to beat.

100m hurdler Cindy Ofili missed out on Olympic bronze by two hundredths of a second, but will look to build on the experience of her first ever Olympic Games with a strong performance in Paris. Diamond Race leader Kendra Harrison (USA), who set a stunning world record of 12.20 for the event at London’s Anniversary Games, also competes alongside European champion Cindy Roleder (GER).

The women’s 400m will see 4x400m Olympic bronze medallist Anyika Onuora (Rana Reider) pit herself against Stephenie Ann-McPherson (JAM) and Floria Guie (FRA). Onuora ran a strong second leg in Rio as the team made the rostrum, and will hope to put the pressure on favourite Jamaican McPherson, who, in the absence of Race leader Shaunae Miller (BAH), could go top of the standings with a top two finish.

British champion Jade Lally (Andrew Neal) will come up against some of the best discus throwers in the world once again, with two-time Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic (CRO) very the athlete to catch in the Diamond Race. Elsewhere, Melina Robert-Michon (FRA), a silver medallist in Rio, will no doubt be buoyed by the opportunity to compete in front of her home crowd, whilst world champion Denia Caballero (CUB) also features in a top class field.

The men’s 100m field is made up entirely of sub-10 athletes, with Joel Fearon (Michael Khmel) and Chijindu Ujah (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) serving as the British representatives in the French capital. Fearon, who is contracted to British bobsledding, ran 9.96 at the English Championships to become only the sixth Brit to run under ten seconds, with the 27 year-old’s debut overseas Diamond League in Lausanne on Thursday producing another strong time of 10.05 over the distance.

Ujah missed out on making the Olympic final by a whisker having clocked an impressive 10.1 in his semi-final, and will hope he can touch on a similar type of time at the Stade de France. Opposition to the pair comes from the fastest man in Europe this season and home favourite Jimmy Vicaut (FRA), with Vicaut’s compatriot Christophe Lemaitre, a bronze medallist in Rio, also lining up to compete against a talent-stacked field.

Other international highlights include: Thomas Rohler, Keshorn Walcott (both competing in the javelin), Ruther Beita (high jump), Kerron Clement (400m hurdles), Ryan Crouser (shot), Renaud Lavillenie, Sam Kendricks (both in the pole vault), Yasmani Copella (400m hurdles) and Mirela Demireva (high jump).

More information on the Paris Diamond League can be found HERE.

Live coverage of the event can be found on Eurosport 1 tomorrow evening from 19:00.