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world champion brits to line up at london disability athletics grand prix

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Bethy Woodward

20 July 2011

A host of World Champions will line up at UKA’s London Disability Athletics Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on Saturday 6 August, just over one year out from the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Having topped the podium on 12 occasions at the IPC World Championships in New Zealand in January, seven out of the nine Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland gold medallists are expected to be in London including capital-based Bethy Woodward (coach: Jonas Dodoo).

Woodward, World T37 400m Champion, has relocated from the south coast of England to North London to be closer to her full time training base at Lee Valley, UKA’s National Performance Centre, and for the global rankings leader, the move is paying off: “I lowered my PB from 73.8 in 2010 to 69.21 in 2011 and I think that’s pretty good evidence that things are coming together for me,” said the Southampton athlete who finished sixth in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last year and most recently lowered her 200m best at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix.

“I’ve put in a really good block of training since New Zealand but I’ve had some back problems that have limited what I’ve been able to do, so in spite of my hard work I wasn’t sure I was quite at the level I wanted to be coming into Birmingham. I really just wanted to use it as a gauge, but it made me realise what shape I’m in and it’s given me something really positive to build on.”

She’s likely to be joined at Crystal Palace by David Weir (coach: Jenny Archer) three-time World Champion in the T54 category and multiple medallist in the Beijing Paralympic Games, double World Champion and T34 World Record holder Hannah Cockroft (coach: Peter Eriksson), T42 World 200m Champion Richard Whitehead (coach: Liz Yelling), T12 World 100m Champion Libby Clegg (coach: Keith Antoine) and Rob Ellchuk-coached duo and multiple World Championships medallists Katrina Hart - gold medallist in the T37 200m and bronze medallist in the 100m - and Paul Blake, T36 400m champion and double silver medallist in the 800m and 1500m.

Ticketholders for the second day of the Aviva London Grand Prix (5-6 August) are encouraged to arrive early for the London Disability Athletics Grand Prix, which will kick off an action packed day of athletics at Crystal Palace, doors open at 09:00.

Full event details including a draft timetable are available on the UKA website and by selecting the London option: http://uka.org.uk/competitions/dagp-2011/

Accreditation requests should be directed to Katy Anderson at: kanderson@uka.org.uk