Mo Farah hails decision to move London Athletics Grand Prix to Olympic Stadium
12:13 24 January 2013
PA Wire/Press Association Images
The Olympic Stadium will stage an international athletics grand prix to mark the first anniversary of the 2012 opening ceremony.
The British Athletics London Grand Prix will take place at the venue in Stratford, east London, on the weekend of July 27.
Mo Farah, Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m champion, said: “The atmosphere was electric during the Games, I’ll never forget it, so it’s great that the British fans and athletes will get to experience that again so soon after the Games.
“It’ll be perfect preparation for the World Championships in August.”
Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis said: “It is brilliant to hear that the British Athletics London GP is going to be held at the Olympic Stadium a year after the Games.
“It will give athletes and fans who did not get to experience the amazing venue the chance to go there, and for those of us who had the most incredible experiences on the track and field, an opportunity to relive a few memories.
“Hopefully I will be there and using the competition as part of my preparation for the World Championships.”
The event is part of the key series of Samsung Diamond League meetings in the athletics calendar.
It will see some of the world’s top track and field stars compete again at the stadium.
UK Athletics chief executive Niels de Vos predicted the event would be “very special” for the British public particularly as it is on the anniversary of the Olympics.
He said: “An integral part of our 2012 legacy is not only that our athletes continue to succeed on the world stage but that the British public continue to be inspired by some of the greatest names in athletics, and experience world class sport first-hand.
“With the European Team Championships coming to Gateshead in June, Glasgow hosting the Commonwealth Games next year, and the IAAF and IPC World Championships returning to the Olympic Stadium in 2017, we have a fantastic opportunity to inspire the next generation of world class athletes and keep athletics at the very heart of British sport.”
Dennis Hone, chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, which is in charge of the future of the Olympic Park, said: “I’m delighted we can welcome track and field back to the park so soon after the end of the Games.
“We want the stadium to welcome back our Olympic and Paralympic stars as soon as possible.”
The £292 million transformation of the park, to be renamed the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, began when the London Games ended. It is set to take 18 months.
The site, featuring new homes and schools, state-of-the-art venues and public parklands, is set to open in phases from July.
It is due to fully open by spring next year.
Tickets have already been sold for the event which was originally to be held at Crystal Palace.
Refunds are being issued, but anyone who has already bought a ticket will get the first chance of seats at the Olympic Stadium ahead of general sale.
This has been set up because it is not possible to transfer tickets for Crystal Palace across to the new venue, British Athletics said.