Lord Coe hails return of athletics to Olympic Stadium in three-day celebration

File photo dated 06/09/2012 of a general view of the Olympic Stadium in London. File photo dated 06/09/2012 of a general view of the Olympic Stadium in London.

Thursday, February 14, 2013
8:58 AM

The Olympic Stadium will host three days of athletics, including a dedicated day of Paralympic action, in July, British Athletics has announced.

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The London Anniversary Games, which will take place from July 26-28, will incorporate the annual two-day Diamond League meeting on the Friday and Saturday, but also, for the first time, a day of purely Paralympic competition on the Sunday.

London 2012 chief Sebastian Coe hailed a three-day event as an “important part of the London 2012 legacy”.

Coe, who chaired the London 2012 Organising Committee and is now chairman of the British Olympic Association, said: “I am delighted that the London Anniversary Games has been confirmed as three days of international athletics this July.

“London 2012 was an amazing year for British sport and what a way to celebrate its success by welcoming the world back to London once more to watch the biggest names in athletics.

“It is an important part of the London 2012 legacy that as many people as possible experience world class sport in the world class facilities at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and I’m sure the London Anniversary Games will go a long way to inspiring the next generation of track and field fans.”

A return to the Olympic Stadium on the anniversary of the opening ceremony of London 2012 had already been announced, with the British Athletics London Grand Prix moving to the Stratford venue from Crystal Palace, but it has now been confirmed that the meeting will retain its usual two-day format before the stadium hosts a day of Para-athletics.

That will follow hot on the heels of the IPC World Championships in Lyon and be a key step toward securing a London Paralympic legacy.

London mayor Boris Johnson said: “We are already set to mark the anniversary of the tremendous London 2012 opening ceremony with the world’s finest athletes returning to compete in this great stadium this summer.

“Now this anniversary celebration is complete with top international Paralympians set to join the party giving us an extra day of world-class sporting action.”

Former Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu added: “The London Diamond League has always been one of my favourite meets so it’s fantastic that it’s retaining its two day format.

“The atmosphere in the stadium was phenomenal last year and I’ll never forget it - it was very special for me as a local girl.”

British Athletics chief executive Niels de Vos said demand for tickets had already been “huge” and urged fans to register for them.

Tickets information for the London Anniversary Games will be issued shortly but fans are being encouraged to register for tickets via www.britishathletics.org.uk