Inspiration Games: Allyson Felix and Shaunae Miller-Uibo meet in hi-tech event

Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Mujinga Kambundji, Allyson Felix
Between them the athletes taking part in the Inspiration Games have won 27 Olympic, 56 world, and 33 European medals
Inspiration Games
Date: Thursday 9 July Time: 18:35 BST Venues: Various
Coverage: Live video on the Red Button and BBC Sport online, highlights on BBC One on Saturday at 13:15 BST

A high-tech race between American legend Allyson Felix, Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Swiss star Mujinga Kambundji headlines Thursday's innovative Inspiration Games.

The meeting is being staged using seven different venues around the world and involves 28 athletes in eight events.

Miller-Uibo, Felix and Kambundji are racing over 150m, running in Florida, California and Zurich respectively.

Television viewers will watch them race in a synced-up three-way split-screen.

"I had questions about how it was going to work and the logistics," said nine-time Olympic medallist Felix when asked about her reaction when the project was first proposed to her.

"But I was totally on board with the concept and thought it was super creative in adapting to what is going on in the world right now.

"I hope I feel nerves, because usually when I race I do and I love it as part of the process. We'll see."

While the Impossible Games, staged in Norway in June, brought together some of Scandinavia's best athletes and featured a 2,000m race taking place in two different continents simultaneously, the Inspiration Games is the most ambitious attempt yet to restart international athletics in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The event, which is taking the place of Zurich's leg of the elite-level Diamond League circuit, will feature athletes competing in France, Sweden, Portugal and the Netherlands, as well as in Switzerland and two locations in the United States.

For track events, the starting guns will be synchronised and delayed television pictures synced up, so that viewers will see athletes' performances side-by-side, as if in a regular race.

Also on the programme is a 200m race featuring world champion Noah Lyles, competing in Florida, taking on France's world and Olympic medallist Christophe Lemaitre and veteran Dutch sprinter Churandy Martina in Zurich and the Netherlands respectively.

In the pole vault, Greece's Katerina Stefandi and American Sandi Morris will renew their rivalry, while Canada's Andre de Grasse, France's Jimmy Vicaut and Jamaican hurdles specialist Omar McLeod will race over 100 yards.

'Something like this brings a bit of joy'

Allyson Felix
Felix, now 34, returned to the track in July 2019 at the US Championships, having given birth to her daughter the previous November

Felix said that the Inspiration Games have helped provide her with something to look forward to during a time in which her country and others have been reflecting on racial injustice.

Viral video of the death of 46-year-old black American George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis in May spurred worldwide protests. Four officers involved in the incident have been sacked and charged with criminal offences.

"What we are experiencing right now and the climate of what is happening on the streets of America has been extremely difficult," added Felix.

"It is heavy and as a black mother thinking about my child and how she will grow up in this world, it has been very sobering.

"I have been trying to be vocal and be the best that I can be with that, something like the Inspirations Games brings a bit of joy, something to be excited about and to look forward to."

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