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"paralympic legacy is real" says weir

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David Weir

26 June 2013

Six time Paralympic gold medallist, David Weir (coach: Jenny Archer) believes that the Paralympic legacy is strong one year on from the Paralympic Games. Following last month’s announcement that he will compete at the Sainsbury’s IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final in Birmingham this weekend, Weir confirmed today that he will race at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games in the Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on 28 July.

Weir, who won four gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games in the 800m, 1500m, 5000m and the marathon, confirmed he will compete in the T53/54 1500m at the Sainsbury’s IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final in Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium and a one mile exhibition race in the Sainsbury’s International Para Challenge at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games.

“The Sainsbury’s IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final is the first major IPC athletics competition in Britain since the Games. To host a major international event, the first of its kind in the world, so soon after the Games is such a positive step for the sport as it reflects the huge amount of support there is for the Paralympic movement in this country and I’m honoured to be a part of it.

“I haven’t raced in Birmingham for a long time and so I’m looking forward to getting up there. The Sainsbury’s IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final is one of the last meets before the Worlds in Lyon, so I’m expecting some tough competition from the guys in the 1500m.

“A key part of continuing the success of London 2012 is ensuring that there are enough top quality competitions in place for athletes and the introduction of the IPC Athletics Grand Prix Series is the first step on that journey. If there is more competition, especially on home soil, then the standard of the sport continues to grow and it stays within the public eye. It will put the British team in good stead for Rio 2016.”

On the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, Weir said:

“I have incredible memories of the Games last year and when I was offered the chance to compete in the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, I didn’t hesitate to accept.

“The noise from the British public was incredible and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate one year on than in front of another capacity crowd. The track is really quick in the Stadium and we saw lots of records fall last year at the Games, so I think the British fans could be in for a real treat.”

For Weir the biggest legacy from the London 2012 Games remains the impact on the Paralympic movement:

“The impact that London 2012 had on the Paralympic movement was huge and I don’t think anyone really expected it. It was the first time that a stadium had ever sold out for a Paralympic Games and to have a capacity crowd for every session, across the whole event, was amazing.

“But the biggest challenge post London 2012 was keeping that momentum going by creating more world-class events in front of a sold-out crowd and ensuring that there is a real legacy in place to develop Paralympic sport.

“For Britain to host the first ever Sainsbury’s IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final and to sell out the Stadium for the third day of the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, shows that the Paralympic legacy is real and very much alive.”

For tickets and further information about the Sainsbury’s IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final at the Sainsbury’s Grand Prix – Birmingham, visit http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/british-athletics-series/home/