Mo Farah, victorious at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in London (© Victah Sailer)
Reigning Olympic, world and European 5000m and 10,000m champion Mo Farah returned to London’s former Olympic Stadium on Sunday (22) to launch the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, part of the 2015 IAAF Diamond League, which will take place in the iconic venue at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from 24-25 July.
“It’s fantastic that the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games is planning to return to the former Olympic Stadium this summer," said Farah. "I can’t wait to get back on this track to compete at what will be a stunning celebration of athletics.
“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," he added. "I’m sure it will be the best outdoor meet this year and a great send off to the World Championships."
Farah was back in the British capital just a day after he set a two miles world indoor best in Birmingham, the last IAAF Indoor Permit meeting of the winter.
The stadium is currently closed as work continues to transform it into the new national competition centre for British Athletics in 2016 as well as become the permanent home of the football club West Ham United.
British Athletics have won the right to host athletics in the stadium for one month every year for the next 50 years from 2016.
“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.
“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.”
British Athletics for the IAAF
2015 IAAF Diamond League calendar
Doha, QAT – 15 May
Shanghai, CHN – 17 May
Eugene, USA – 30 May
Rome, ITA – 4 June
Birmingham, GBR – 7 June
Oslo, NOR – 11 June
New York, USA – 13 June
Paris, FRA – 4 July
Lausanne, SUI – 9 July
Monaco, MON – 17 July
London, GBR – 24-25 July
Stockholm, SWE – 30 July
Zurich, SUI – 3 September
Brussels, BEL – 11 September