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Rudisha among stars for Birmingham Diamond League

David Rudisha winning the 600m at the 2014 IAAF Diamond League meeting in Birmingham (Jean-Pierre.

David Rudisha winning the 600m at the 2014 IAAF Diamond League meeting in Birmingham (Jean-Pierre.

BIRMINGHAM, April 8- World record-holder David Rudisha will step down to 600m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Birmingham June 5 as he prepares to defend his Olympic title in Rio de Janeiro later this year.

The world champion won over the same distance in his last appearance in Birmingham two years ago, clocking a personal best of 1:13.71.

“I loved running 600m at the Birmingham Diamond League in 2014 and I’m really looking forward to doing it again. The athletes always get amazing support at British events and running 600m is a good part of my preparations this Olympic Year. My training has been going well and I am looking forward to a good year.” Rudisha told the IAAF official website.

Rudisha battled with injury for the better part of the 2014 and 2015 seasons, but managed to recover and went on to defend his world Championship crown in Beijing last year.

His compatriot Asbel Kiprop will make only his second appearance in Birmingham following victory in the Emsley Carr Mile in 2014.

“I have great memories of winning the mile at the Birmingham Diamond League in 2014 and hopefully I can run well again this year,” said the three-time world 1500m champion.

“2016 is a huge year for me, I want to win back the Olympic title and challenge my personal best. Birmingham will be an important race for me to see how my training has been going.” He added.

Kiprop won the Olympic gold in 2008 in Beijing, but his efforts at defending were futile in London 2012 as he went on to finish last in the final despite coming into the games with the world leading time.

At the Birmingham IAAF meet, 12 stars have confirmed they will participate including World 200m champion Dafne Schippers.

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She will compete at the Alexander Stadium for the first time when she lines up against British record-holder Dina Asher-Smith in the 100m.

“2016 is a very important year for me with the Olympic Games taking place in Brazil. The Birmingham Diamond League will be a good race to test myself early in the season and start the road to Rio. I’m looking forward to competing in front of another great British crowd and hopefully continuing my form from last year into this summer.” said Schippers.

Asher-Smith will return to the Alexander Stadium for the first time since setting a championship record on her way to claiming the British title in 2015.

-Material from IAAF used to compile this report-

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