Birmingham takes centre stage for the countdown to Rio

Birmingham Diamond League 570x211

Birmingham is set to confirm its status as the UK’s home of athletics this month when it hosts two key athletics events on the road to Rio. Both the Birmingham Diamond League on Sunday 5 June and the British Championships from 24 to 26 June are organised by British Athletics, in partnership with Birmingham City Council, and both will be held at the city’s Alexander Stadium.

And the council will be using these events to give fans of the number one Olympic sport the chance to sign up to receive information about tickets or volunteering opportunities for the IAAF World Indoor Championships, which will be staged in the city in March 2018, as the Deputy Leader, Councillor Ian Ward, explains:

“Not only do this month’s athletics events provide us with an excellent chance to once again highlight why Birmingham is the home of athletics, but we’re also looking to use this opportunity to start raising awareness that the IAAF World Indoor Championships is coming back to Birmingham, something which we know the athletics fans flooding to the city this month will be very excited about.”

One of the reasons that so many athletics fans are expected to visit Birmingham this month, is because both events are attracting exciting line-ups, with the world’s best athletes expected to compete at the Birmingham Diamond League and with Britain’s best due to fight it out at the British Championships, for a place on the British Athletics team, for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The British Champs 570x211

In fact, the Birmingham Diamond League will act as a launchpad for Britain’s greatest distance runner Mo Farah’s Olympic defence. Farah has targeted the meeting at the Alexander Stadium as one of his major stepping stones, as he bids to defend his Olympic record when the Games open in Rio, exactly two months later, on 5 August.

Mo Farah said: “The Birmingham Diamond League will be my first big European track race of 2016 and a great platform to test myself on the road to the Olympic Games in Rio – the ultimate competition for every athlete. The meet has long been a key fixture in the season and I know that having the support of that passionate home crowd will be a great motivator for me on the day and going into The Games.”

Greg Rutherford, another of Britain’s gold medallists from the London Olympics, has also announced that he’ll be competing on Sunday and he and Farah will be joined by several British teammates, including Birmingham based high-jumper Robbie Grabarz, Dina Asher-Smith, Adam Gemili, Tiffany Porter, and Lynsey Sharp. International stars of the sport who have confirmed they’ll be there include reigning Olympic champions David Rudisha, Kirani James, Sally Pearson, Valerie Adams and Robert Harting.

Niels de Vos, Chief Executive of British Athletics, said: “Mo Farah will lead a stellar cast of global stars at the Birmingham Diamond League. This event is vital to their preparation for Rio and the perfect launchpad to the Olympic Games. The Alexander Stadium is home to major athletics events and has a rich athletics history. There is no doubt that we will witness world-class performances aided by amazing support from home crowds.”

For tickets to the Birmingham Diamond League or the British Championships please visit britishathletics.org.uk.

More information about the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 will be available soon, as will a website dedicated to the event, which was previously hosted in the city in 2003.

-ENDS-

 For more information, contact:

 BCC contact

Sarah Dickson

Communications Manager

IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018

T: 0121 464 6032

M: 07766 925136

E: sarah.guest@birmingham.gov.uk

British Athletics

Craig Gundersen

Competitions PR Manager

T: 0121 713 8458

M: 07730 141 278

E: cgundersen@britishathletics.org.uk

 

Notes to Editors:

UK Athletics

UK Athletics is the national governing body of the leading Olympic and Paralympic sport in Britain. British Athletics is the sport we represent, the people, the athletes, the fans, the team.

We work closely with the home countries to develop and grow all areas of the sport including elite performance, coaching, major international events, competition and grassroots programmes within schools and clubs.

For more information visit www.britishathletics.org.uk and subscribe to our YouTube channel here – www.youtube.com/britishathleticstv

IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018

The IAAF World Indoor Championships will be jointly organised by Birmingham City Council and British Athletics and will be staged at Barclaycard Arena from 2-4 March 2018. For more information please email: WIC2018@birmingham.gov.uk

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