This year’s London Anniversary Games is set to be an emotional one, as some of the biggest names in sport will soon be retiring from the track. Here’s what’s in store for spectators at this key athletics event.
David Weir and Mo Farah Bid Farewell to the London Anniversary Games
Last month, David Weir announced that he would be competing in his last ever track event at the 2017 London Anniversary Games.
In January, Weir, who has won six golds, two silvers and two bronze medals at the Paralympics during his athletics career, announced that he wouldn’t be competing for Team GB again . However, the six-time world champion couldn’t resist the chance to race at the London Stadium once more; particularly as it was the venue in which he won four Paralympic gold medals in 2012.
“It is such a special place for me and London 2012 was the highlight of my career, so to have one last race and get a big send-off in that stadium will be fantastic,” he told the BBC.
Weir isn’t the only British athlete to be competing at the games for the last time either. It’s also the final year that Mo Farah will be appearing at the event.
Farah, who won gold medals in the 5000m and 10,000m at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, will be going on to compete in Monaco’s “Herculis” Diamond League meet later this month, before participating in the IAAF World Championships in August. However, he is then likely to retire from track racing and switch to road events.
The London Anniversary Games – Which Other Athletes Will Be Competing?
Sunday’s meet is the ninth on the 2017 IAAF Diamond League calendar. Many of those competing will, therefore, be hoping to secure points to help them to win one of the league’s coveted athletics trophies. There are also many non-league events on the programme, however, which will be equally exctiting to watch.
One of the biggest draws this year is Usain Bolt, who will also be competing in his last London Anniversary Games. Bolt, who has eight Olympic and eleven World Championship titles to his name, is set to retire after the 2017 World Championships. He’ll be competing in the 200 metres on Sunday.
Spectators could also be in for a treat when Laura Muir takes to the track. The Scottish athlete, who holds a host of British athletics records, is aiming to secure another at the meet. Despite recently having suffered a stress fracture in her foot, she’s targeting Zola Budd’s outdoor record for the mile; one that Budd has held since 1985.
Dina Asher-Smith will also be making her final World Championship preparations at the Anniversary Games. 21-year-old Asher-Smith, who won a bronze medal in the 4 x 100m relay at the 2016 Olympic Games, has also only just returned to the track after fracturing her foot earlier this year. The British 100m and 200m record holder won’t have an easy race on Sunday either – her opponents include Dafne Schippers, Elaine Thompson and Asha Philip.
Other athletes taking part include Greg Rutherford, the British long jumper who won the gold medal at London 2012 and claimed bronze in Rio last year, and Ekaterini Stefanidi, who won the women’s pole vault event at the 2016 Olympics.
Will you be watching the 2017 London Anniversary Games? Which athletes are you looking forward to seeing? Tell us on Facebook, on Twitter or in the comments section below!