June’s IPC Grand Prix Final in Birmingham is ideal preparation for World Championships, says Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock
London 2012 gold medallist Jonnie Peacock has confirmed his spot at the IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final and believes competing at the inaugural event in June will provide perfect preparation for the IPC World Championships in Lyon the following month.
The 19-year-old will so far be joined by eight fellow British London 2012 Paralympic medallists at the event in Birmingham, which forms part of the Sainsbury’s Grand Prix, with Hannah Cockroft, Richard Whitehead and David Weir also in action.
More than 140 athletes will compete in 18 events at the final meet of the global IPC Athletics Grand Prix series, which has included competitions in Dubai, Beijing, Sao Paulo, Grosseto, Arizona and Berlin, with the Birmingham event taking place one day before the IAAF Diamond League meeting is held at the same Alexander Stadium.
“This is the first time a Grand Prix series has been hosted, and to have the finale in Birmingham is great for the British athletes taking part,” commented Peacock, who will first compete at Manchester’s GreatCity Games on May 25 in what will be his first race since winning T44 100m gold at London 2012.
The Paralympic champion is also the world-record holder over the shorter sprint distance, but despite his dominance is not willing to take anything for granted and believes the standard of competition in Birmingham will mean the meet is an ideal way to warm-up for Lyon come July.
“The athletes competing have qualified by right to be in Birmingham for the IPC Grand Prix Final at the Sainsbury’s Grand Prix, so I’m expecting another close race, just like the Paralympic Games,” he said. “I’m in a very competitive class, but I know on my day, I can beat anyone, so I’m going to go into the race with that mentality.
“It will be the final time I have the opportunity to compete against some of my rivals before the World Championships in Lyon, so it will give me a gauge of where I am, and what I need to do to add gold to the one I picked up in London last year.”
Athletes so far confirmed as competing at the Sainsbury’s Grand Prix – Birmingham on June 29
T43/44 100m: Jonnie Peacock
T42 200m: Richard Whitehead
T11/12 800m: David Devine
T53/54 1500m: David Weir
F44 (42) Discus: Dan Greaves
F31/32/51 Club Throw: Stephen Miller
T33/34 200m: Hannah Cockroft
T37 400m: Bethany Woodward, Jenny McLoughlin
T53/54 1500m: Shelly Woods
F42/43/44 Long Jump: Stef Reid