More than 20 British Rio Olympians have so far been announced for the street athletics event in Newcastle and Gateshead
Great Britain’s Olympians will top the bill at the Great North CityGames on September 10, giving fans one of their first opportunities to see the athletes in action after the Rio de Janeiro Games.
More than 20 Brits from the GB team in Rio have so far been announced for the street athletics event in Newcastle and Gateshead, including British record-breaker Laura Muir and long jump star Greg Rutherford, which will see thousands of fans descend on the banks of the Tyne.
Rutherford is determined to end his season on a high by sealing victory in the Great North CityGames.
The 29-year-old claimed bronze in Rio after his gold in London four years before and is looking forward to taking on his first event post-Olympics at a venue where he has excelled in the past.
“Adding a bronze medal to the gold from 2012 is something to be proud of,” he said. “I’d put a lot of hard work in and I was glad to see it pay off in Rio.
“I’m really excited to be competing at the Great North CityGames. I’m sure there will be a fantastic atmosphere – there is much to celebrate and I can’t wait to be part of it.”
Muir, who broke the British 1500m record for the second time in five weeks at the Diamond League in Lausanne just 10 days after her seventh place finish at the Olympics, leads entries in the mile event.
The line-up also features Steph Twell, Eilish McColgan and Laura Weightman.
While Mo Farah will be gunning for his third Great North Run victory the following day, Andy Butchart, who finished sixth in the 5000m final won by his British team-mate, will race the men’s mile at the Great North CityGames.
Butchart’s 13:08.61 in Rio is the UK’s third-fastest 5000m of all time, and the British champion will face competition from 41-year-old American Bernard Lagat, who pipped the Scotsman to fifth place in Rio, and another star name yet to be announced.
Butchart said: “It’ll be good to return to Newcastle. I pulled up short last time out so I’ve got a bit of unfinished business there.
“The whole Olympic experience was amazing, to finish sixth in an Olympic final is something that I’m very proud of and it’ll be good to see everybody again for the Great North CityGames.”
Team GB’s bronze medal-winning women’s 4x100m relay team will be out in force on the banks of the Tyne. Asha Philip will contest the 100m, while in the 150m, Philip’s team-mate Desiree Henry will be up against Jodie Williams, 200m semi-finalist in Rio.
The men’s 4x100m men’s relay team, which finished fifth in the final, will also be well represented in Newcastle and Gateshead, with Richard Kilty, CJ Ujah, and James Dasaolu contesting the 100m sprint, as teammates Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and Ojie Edoburun take on the 150m distance.
For Kilty, the trip to Tyneside is a home fixture, the 26-year-old sprinter hailing from nearby Stockton on Tees. He said: “It’s always good to come back to the North-East, especially when it is to compete, and I’m looking forward to this event. It’s always exciting to be running on this track, with the crowd right on top of the action, and it’s a nice way to end the season.”
Danny Talbot, a 200m semi-finalist in Rio, makes up the British contingent in the men’s sprints.
Over 500m Martyn Rooney, who led the men’s 4x400m relay team home in their heat win in Rio – only to be disqualified in controversial circumstances – will be in action. The women’s race will see Anyika Onuora, bronze medallist in the 4x400m relay in Rio, take on Lynsey Sharp and Seren Bundy-Davies.
Great CityGames favourite Tiffany Porter returns to defends her CityGames title, fresh from making the final of the 100m hurdles in Rio.
The 28-year-old, who has won her last five CityGames outings in Tyneside and Manchester respectively, is looking forward to her return to the North-East.
She said: “I am a big fan of the Great CityGames and I can’t wait to come back. Having the crowd so close gives you a big lift and it always makes it a special day.”
Holly Bradshaw will take on the pole vault after she finished fifth in the Olympic final with a season’s best of 4.70m.
The Great North CityGames, which will be shown live on BBC One from 14:00, is part of a weekend celebration of sport in Newcastle, taking place on the same day as the Great North 5k and the Junior and Mini Great North Run on Saturday ahead of Britain’s biggest running event, the Great North Run on Sunday September 11.