Birmingham confirmed as hosts for IPC Diamond League-style athletics series finals
Monday, 08 April 2013
April 8 - Birmingham has today been confirmed as the host city for the new International Paralympic Committee (IPC) athletics series finals with the event due to be held at Alexander Stadium on June 29.
As revealed by insidethegames in January this year, Birmingham will host the 2013 IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final following a series of global meetings in the style of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Diamond League.
The IPC Athletics Grand Prix started last month with a three-day meet in Dubai where 460 athletes from 32 countries were in attendance.
Further Grand Prix events will follow over the coming months in Beijing, São Paulo, Grosseto in Italy, Arizona and Berlin before the seventh and final event in Birmingham.
The Birmingham IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final will take place just three weeks before the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon while the series was launched in order to give athletes greater opportunities to compete against the world's best.
The event is expected to welcome more than 144 athletes competing in 18 events while it is being staged just one day before the British Athletics Birmingham Grand Prix at the same venue.
"We are delighted that Birmingham will stage the final event of our IPC Athletics Grand Prix this year," said IPC athletics sport technical committee chairman Ed Warner, who is also British Athletics chairman.
"We created this Grand Prix to give athletes a chance to compete on the highest level and we are confident that many of our best athletes will come to Birmingham to test their form ahead of the World Championships in Lyon in July."
Leading athletics have also welcomed confirmation of the event in Birmingham, including Britain' 100 metre T44 Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock.
"Having that backing from the crowd and to hear the chants of my name from the stands at London 2012 was a moment I'll never forget," said Peacock.
"The IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final gives the public another opportunity to see some of the best athletes that Britain and the world have to offer and I can't wait.
"There aren't many opportunities to compete in the UK and against a world-class field, so this event is great for the sport."
The Birmingham IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final comes after the United Kingdom staged the most impressive Paralympic athletics competition in history that saw an unprecedented 1,185,976 tickets sold and capacity 80,000 crowds in attendance for almost every session.
In addition to the Birmingham Grand Prix, London itself will also feature in the IPC Athletics calendar this year as it will be staging the first IPC Athletics Marathon World Cup as part of the Virgin London Marathon on April 21.
There is also a full day of Paralympic athletics scheduled as part of the London Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford this year on the final day of the three-day event on July 28.
It marks another significant boost for IPC Athletics, who have already confirmed Doha and London as the hosts of the 2015 and 2017 IPC Athletics World Championships respectively.
"I know from experience that the world's top stars love the opportunity to compete in front of a British crowd so this is superb news not only for British Athletics but for disability athletics," said British Athletics commercial director Sophia Warner, who herself competed for Britain in last year's Paralympics.
"With our top athletes competing in the British Athletics Glasgow International natch, the IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final confirmed for Birmingham and the third day of athletics at the London Anniversary Games, I am proud that we are working so well with our IPC colleagues to create a competition legacy for our disabled athletes."
Qualification details for the event in Birmingham will be communicated to National Paralympic Committees shortly.
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January 2013: Birmingham set to host finals as IPC launch Diamond League-style athletics series