Athletics set to return to London venue this year ahead of 50-year deal to stage the sport in the stadium from 2016
Fresh from running a two miles world best in Birmingham on Saturday, Mo Farah returned to the venue in which he won double Olympic gold over 5000m and 10,000m in 2012 on Sunday to launch this year’s Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games.
The event, which is set to take place at the former Olympic Stadium from July 24-26, will incorporate the two-day Diamond League meeting as well as the Sainsbury’s IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final.
“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,” commented Farah.
“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.”
Construction work continues at the venue as it becomes the home of West Ham United Football Club as well as the new national competition centre for British Athletics. The construction project is said to be on schedule for the stadium to host a number of sporting events later this year including the Anniversary Games and Rugby World Cup matches.
“The Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games this summer will mark the start of new athletics legacy at the former Olympic Stadium,” said British Athletics chief executive Niels de Vos, with the governing body having won the right to host athletics in the stadium for one month every year for the next 50 years from 2016.
“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.”
» Fans can register their interest for tickets to the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games at britishathletics.org.uk. Tickets for the Diamond League meeting on July 24-25 are priced from £20 per adult and £12 per concession (children aged between 2-16, students with a valid NUS card and senior citizens over 60), while tickets for IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final action on July 26 are priced from £10