British athletic greats Iwan Thomas and Marilyn Okoro were back at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham today (Thursday) to get a first glimpse of the stunning, revamped venue as it prepares to welcome some of the world’s best athletes next month when the Wanda Diamond League returns to the city.

Thomas, whose 400 metre British record set at the stadium 25 years ago still stands today and Okoro who won British Championship titles at the venue during a glittering career were given a tour of the facility which will also host the athletics programme at this summer’s Commonwealth Games. The Muller Birmingham Diamond League event on Saturday May 21st will be the first time that fans and athletes alike will get to experience the new venue and will kick off a huge summer of sport in the Midlands.

Fans will get the chance to see come of the world’s best battle it out on the new track next month with sprinters Yohan Blake and current 200m gold medallist Andree De Grasse already confirmed alongside British star Dina Asher-Smith. Further British interest for the home crowd will come from Keely Hodgkinson, Holly Bradshaw and Joss Kerr with even more big names are set to be announced in the coming days.

The event last took place in Birmingham in 2019 but the Alexander Stadium has since been transformed as part of a £72 million redevelopment programme including a new West stand and 9-lane running track.. The stadium will host the second event of the prestigious , Wanda Diamond League calendar for 2022 which kicks-off in Doha on May 13th.

Visiting the revamped venue for the first time, Iwan Thomas commented:

Visiting the revamped venue for the first time, Thomas said: “I loved competing here in Birmingham. I live at the other end of the country, but it’s always felt like the home of athletics for me, so to see the new stadium in the flesh for the first time is amazing.

“The track and the facilities are world class and I think it’s going to be a very special place for the current and future generations of athletes. Birmingham should be really proud of it. As the first big event at the new stadium, The Müller Birmingham Diamond League here is going to be massive and the athletes are going to love competing here and in front of a big Birmingham crowd.”

Okoro, now a UK Athletics board member after retiring at the start of 2021, added:

“These are world class facilities - they've just thought of everything. Everyone's going to love performing in the stadium. The spectators will have a phenomenal view wherever they sit, I'm just so excited. The only thing is, I regret retiring a little too early!

“I have some really fun memories here, it’s really a home away from home. I'm very nostalgic. I really encourage everyone to grab tickets, get involved, and get yourself here because I think it's just going be something phenomenal - for both the performance side but also the community and the legacy. We want to make this the home of athletics.”

Tickets for event on Saturday May 21st are available now via https://www2.theticketfactory.com/british-athletics/online/

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