Double Olympic 10,000m and 5,000m Champion Mo Farah returned to the former Olympic Stadium today, to launch the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, which is due to take place in the iconic venue at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from 24-26th July.
The world’s best athletes are set to head to the Park for the three-day athletics spectacular, including a two-day Diamond League meeting on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th July, with the Sainsbury’s IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final taking place on Sunday 26th July.
Farah said: “It’s fantastic that the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games is planning to return to the former Olympic Stadium this summer and I can’t wait to get back on this track to compete, at what will be a stunning celebration of athletics.
“The atmosphere will be amazing and I’m sure it will bring back the memories of London 2012 and the inaugural Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games in 2013.
“I hope the British public will be as excited as I am about this event, and will come out to support the athletes. I’m sure it will be the best outdoor meet this year and a great send off to the World Championships.”
Supporters are invited to register now for tickets which are planned to go on sale at the end of April. The Stadium is currently closed as work continues to transform it into the new national competition centre for British Athletics in 2016 and the permanent home of West Ham United FC. A major construction project is underway and on schedule for the stadium to host a number of world class sporting events later this year including the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games and five matches of the Rugby World Cup.
British Athletics have won the right to host athletics in the Stadium for one month every year for the next 50 years from 2016.
British Athletics Chief Executive, Niels de Vos said: “The Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games this summer will mark the start of new athletics legacy at the former Olympic Stadium.
“For one month a year the Stadium will be the beating heart of athletics in this country and we want the nation to get excited about it and be part of it.
“As well as hosting the best international competitions in the world we need to create a two, three or four-week festival where that Stadium is buzzing with athletics and fans every day.”
Tara Hewitt, Head of Sponsorship at Sainsbury’s, said: “Seeing the likes of Mo Farah return to the Olympic Stadium for the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games will be one of this year’s monumental sporting events. Whether you’re a family looking for a fun day out or a sporting enthusiast looking to see elite action, there will be something for everyone.”
Paralympic stars from all over the world are expected to compete on Sunday 26th July at the Stadium and the London Aquatics Centre, with many London 2012 Paralympic champions returning to the place where they won gold. The events will be part of National Paralympic Day, a celebration of the Paralympic movement and an opportunity for people in the UK to come together to relive the wonder of London 2012, and will also include the Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival.
Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of the British Paralympic Association, said: “I am excited to announce that National Paralympic Day will be returning this year with elite sports competitions in both Swimming and Athletics, as well as lots of fun, family-friendly activity on the Park.
“Over 50,000 people have taken up the chance to come to the Park to be part National Paralympic Day over the past two years and relive the wonder of the London 2012 Paralympics. This year, tickets will be available to see an outstanding selection of world-class sport and fans will get to see our amazing athletes in action once more.”
To register interest for tickets to the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games visit britishathletics.org.uk. Sainsbury’s is proud to be a long-term supporter of British Athletics and a champion of inclusive sport for all, from grassroots to elite level.