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Farah excited by return to London
11:28am Friday 25th January 2013 in Sport
TOP-CLASS athletics will return to the Olympic Stadium this summer on the anniversary of the opening ceremony of London 2012.
The British Athletics London Grand Prix, part of the elite Diamond League series, will take place on July 27, a year to the day after the Games began in spectacular fashion.
Mo Farah, who won gold medals in the 10,000 metres and 5,000m at the Olympics, said: ‘‘The atmosphere was electric during the Games, I’ll never forget it, so it’s great that the British fans, and athletes, will get to experience that again so soon after the Games.’’ The Grand Prix usually takes place at Crystal Palace and 15,500 people had already bought tickets.
They will now be refunded and will be first in the queue when tickets go on sale for the Olympic Stadium, although UK Athletics are not saying whether they will be at the same price.
There will be 65,000 tickets available to the public, and it is expected to be a sell-out, while there remains the possibility a second day could be added to the meeting, which is the usual format at Crystal Palace.
Athletics tickets were among the most sought after for the Games and heptathlon gold medallist Jessica Ennis hopes the Grand Prix will give people who were unable to buy tickets a chance to go to the stadium.
She said: ‘‘It is brilliant to hear that the British Athletics London GP is going to be held at the Olympic Stadium a year after the Games.
‘‘It will give athletes and fans who did not get to experience the amazing venue the chance to go there, and for those of us who had the most incredible experiences on the track and field, an opportunity to relive a few memories.’’ The long-term future of the Olympic Stadium is yet to be decided, with West Ham announced as the preferred bidders in December but a deal far from certain.
Keeping athletics at the stadium has been a key part of the legacy and it will host the World Championships and IPC World Championships in the summer of 2017, while concerts and music festivals are expected to take place from this summer.
The redevelopment of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park began straight after the Paralympics and the first part of it will reopen for the Diamond League meeting.
The £292million project includes clearing away temporary venues like the hockey, basketball and water polo arenas, while the Copper Box is being refitted for public use with a new gym and sports courts for hire.
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