Birmingham -- a time to set the record straight

Isaac Makwala said he was "running with anger" in the 200 meters after being denied the opportunity to race in the 400-meter final on Tuesday. Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images

The IAAF World Championships may be over, but the world's best athletes will be at it again when the 2017 Diamond League season resumes on Sunday.

The 12th leg of this year's top tier athletics meetings takes place in Birmingham, just 200km up the M40 from London where the world's best athletes tested their mettle against each other.

As it happens, Sunday's action-packed meeting will give recent medallists the chance to prove that their podium finishes in London were deserved while athletes who missed out will be seeking redemption. Adding a further edge to the 14 events which will be held through the afternoon at Alexander Stadium is the fact that it is the final points-scoring opportunities before the IAAF Diamond League finals in Zurich and Brussels.


Following an array of junior events, the women's pole vault will open the meeting proper at 14:22 (CAT) with the men's long jump following nine minutes later.

All four women who reached the pole vault podium in London will be in action in Birmingham. AS such, World and Olympic champion Ekaterini Stefanidi (Greece) will renew her rivalry with world and Olympic silver medallist Sandi Morris (USA) as well as Yarisley Silva (Cuba) and Robeilys Peinado (Venezuela), the joint bronze medallists in London.

Stefanidi and Peinado both set new national records to win their medals, so it will be intriguing to see how well their form holds this time around.

Men's long jump world champion Luvo Manyonga won't be in action on Sunday, but the other two medallists Jarrion Lawson (USA) and Ruswahl Samaai (South Africa) will be. Interestingly, London 2017 was the first time Samaai was bettered by anyone other than his compatriot Manyonga, so his battle with Lawson on Sunday may well be one to watch.

Those with points to prove are Olympic gold medallist Jeff Henderson, who didn't even make the final during the world championships, and Khotso Mokoena who at 32 is now only South Africa's fourth-best jumper.

The two heats for the women's 100m (at 14:11 and 14:20, CAT) will be an early afternoon crowd rouser, but the the next final will be the women's discus at 14:47 (CAT).

World champion Sandra Perkovic will be joined by the women who shared a podium with the Croatian in London and Rio: Australia's Dani Stevens, French veteran Melina Robert-Michon and Cuba's 2015 world champion Denia Caballero.

The dark horse in Birmingham may well be Yaime Perez, the Cuban who has twice beaten Perkovic this year but saw Stevens and Robert-Michon throw better and better through the final to deny her a medal.

Then, at 16:00 (CAT), Mutaz Essa Barshim will be expected to again rubber stamp why he is the world's best male high jumper. The Qatari's primary challenge in London was the bar at 2.40m so that may well be his main focus, though world bronze medallist Majd Eddin Ghazal of Syria is also taking part.


The women's 400m hurdles at 16:03 (CAT) will be missing world champion Kori Carter; but with all of Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad (who has yet to secure a final place), two-time world champion Zuzana Hejnova, Olympic silver medallist Sara Slott Petersen, world bronze medallist Ristananna Tracey and 2015 world silver medallist Shamier Little running, the meeting record of 53.78 is definitely under threat.

Kenya's Kipyegon Bett and Adam Kszczot (Poland) claimed silver and bronze at London 2017 In the men's 800m, but that doesn't mean that they're shoe-ins for the win at 16:14 (CAT) ... definitely not when three-time world 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop (Kenya) and Botswana's 2012 Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos -- who faded badly a week or so ago -- line up against them

Yulimar Rojas, Caterine Ibarguen and Olga Rypakova took the triple jump medals in both Rio and London, albeit in a slightly different order, and the trio will meet again in Birmingham. They put on quite the show at the world championships and will look to create even more memories this time around... but who will get the win?

Meanwhile, the women's 3000m at 16:40 (CAT) will bring together London 2017 medallists from numerous events. As such, it will be difficult to predict who of Kenya's Hellen Obiri (5000m gold) and Netherlands' Sifan Hassan (5000m bronze), 10 000m bronze medallist Agnes Tirop (Kenya) or the USA's steeplechase darlings, Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs, will emerge on top.

Tirop, as a well as a number of other top class entrants have yet to secure a spot in the final so this could well be a very fast race.

It is as difficult to call a clear favourite in the men's shot put which takes place at 16:53 (CAT) and features London 2017 1-2 Tom Walsh and Joe Kovacs as well as Ryan Crouser, the Olympic champion who underperformed at worlds. Add in Tomas Stanek (the other man to throw beyond 22 metres this year), surprise world bronze medallist Stipe Zunic and two-time world champion David Storl and you have the makings of a see-saw competition.


The home stretch of this Diamond League leg will begin with the men's 110m hurdles at 16:57 (CAT). Six of the nine-man field have season's bests within 0.14 of each other with London 2017 silver medallist Sergey Shubenkov the fastest of them. However, any of world record-holder Aries Merritt, world bronze medallist Balazs Baji and Olympic silver medallist Orlando Ortega could win too.

Stacked as that race may well be, few at Birmingham will match the women's 100m final at 17:08 (CAT). Should they emerge from the heats earlier in the afternoon, the race could feature all three 200m medallists from London, plus the 100m silver and bronze medallists as well as the 100m hurdles champion.

That would see two-time world champion Dafne Schippers renew her rivalry with the two women who followed her across the finish line in the 200m in London: Ivory Coast's double world silver medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lou and Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo.

Of course, world leader and Olympic champion Elaine Thompson has plenty of motivation after underperforming in the final in London to finish fifth. The afterglow from the world championships may well see 100m hurdles champion Sally Pearson run well too.

Thereafter, world 200m champion Ramil Guliyev will be joined at 17:17 (CAT) by four other men who lined up against him in the 200m final last week: Britain's Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, Botswana's Isaac Makwala and US duo Ameer Webb and Isiah Young. Makwala will now doubt want to end a tumultuous few weeks in the UK with a strong showing, but the Turk looked supreme at the worlds.

The women's 1500m (17:26, CAT) looks just as competitive with world silver medallist Jenny Simpson lining up against fellow world finalists Laura Weightman, Angelika Cichocka, Meraf Bahta, Rababe Arafi and Malika Akkaoui (both Morocco). Kenya's Winny Chebet and Ethiopia's Gudaf Tsegay may have missed out on the World Championships final, but they are the fastest in the field this year and will be desperate to put their records straight.

The women's 400m should bring a suitable end to the Diamond League specific part of the Birmingham leg, not least after how the world championships final played out.

Phyllis Francis was the surprise winner there and will line up against US teammate Allyson Felix, who took the 400m bronze medal in London, and silver medallist Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain. Jamaica's Olympic bronze medallist Shericka Jackson and current IAAF Diamond League leader Novlene Williams-Mills are also in the field.


In what has seemed an endless farewell, the men's 3000m will actually be the last time British athletics fans will see Mo Farah in action on a UK track.

With compatriot Andrew Butchart the only other top-eight finisher from the world 5000m final, Farah is under little threat of his parade being dampened. That said, Spanish duo Ilias Fifa and Adel Mechaal, the European gold and silver medallists, as well as Australia's Patrick Tiernan won't allow him to take a swan song win for granted.