"Treat us seriously, not as fillers," Peacock pleads with Diamond League organisers

Sunday, 16 December 2012
By Duncan Mackay

Jonnie Peacock wins T44 100m September 6 London 2012December 16 - Disability events should become a major part of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) multi-million dollar Samsung Diamond League series, Britain's T44 100 metres Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock has claimed. 

The Cambridgeshire teenager was one of the stars of London 2012 when he beat South African superstar Oscar Pistorius before 80,000 hysterical cheering fans. 

Now he wants the IAAF to try to ensure that the momentum of London 2012 is continued for Paralympic athletics by including events in their flagship series which includes 14 meetings in 11 countries, including two in Britain at Crystal Palace and Birmingham, and features the world's top athletes, including Usain Bolt.

"A few [Paralympic events] have been incorporated before, but not with the seriousness of some other events," Peacock told BBC East Sport.

"They're kind of put in there as a filler, like cheerleaders coming out at half-time.

"That's how people looked at it, which is a shame, but the truth."

One potential problem with Peacock's call is that the IAAF do not have jurisdiction for Paralympic athletics.

That is governed by the International Paralympic Committee's Athletics Committee, led by UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner.

But Peacock plans to continue with his campaign,

"I think my main concern with the Paralympics is making sure we still get into key competitions," he said.

"I think my main aim in the next couple of years is to really push to get more disabled events into the Diamond League."

Contact the writer of this story at duncan.mackay@insidethegames.biz
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