Olympic Stadium back in use

  • Last Updated: January 24 2013, 18:20 GMT

London's Olympic Stadium will host its first sporting event since the Games on the anniversary of the opening ceremony.

Olympic Stadium: Will host the London Grand Prix

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The London Grand Prix athletics meeting, part of the elite Diamond League series, is to be moved from its usual home at Crystal Palace and will take place on July 27, a year to the day after the Olympics began in spectacular fashion.

Mo Farah, who won gold medals in the 10,000 metres and 5,000m at the Olympics, 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."

Athletics tickets were among the most sought after for the Games and heptathlon gold medallist Jessica Ennis hopes the Grand Prix will give people who were unable to buy tickets a chance to see high-class athletics at the stadium.

She 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 long-term future of the Olympic Stadium is yet to be decided, with West Ham announced as the preferred bidders in December but with a deal far from certain.

Keeping athletics at the stadium has been a key part of the legacy and it will host the World Championships and Paralympic World Championships in the summer of 2017, while concerts and music festivals are expected to take place from this summer.

Niels de Vos, the chief executive of UK Athletics, said: "We are delighted that the British Athletics London Grand Prix will be held at the Olympic Stadium in July and the fact that it's on the first anniversary of the opening ceremony is very special.

"The Olympic Stadium created some incredible memories in 2012 - memories which rekindled the British public's love for athletics.

"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."

The redevelopment of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park began straight after the Paralympics and the first part of it will reopen for the athletics Grand Prix.

The £292million project includes clearing away temporary venues like the hockey, basketball and water polo arenas while the Copper Box is being refitted for public use with a new gym and sports courts for hire.

The Aquatics Centre, which is being reduced in size, will also be open to the public and the whole park will be fully open by the spring of 2014.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who is also chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: "What better way to mark the anniversary of the tremendous London 2012 opening ceremony than to see this stadium packed again as the world's top athletes compete in this unique series.

"After last summer's amazing Games, we can now see the stadium's legacy emerging as a top venue for both international sport and entertainment.

"I am ever confident that in the coming years we can look forward to seeing Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park staging a wide range of major events, with their organisers and audiences drawn by its perfect location and unrivalled facilities."


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