11th May 2010

IPC World Championships


12 May 2010

Paralympic medalists Shelly Woods and Mickey Bushell are among 77 athletes from nine nations due to kick start their IPC Athletics World Championships qualification campaign in the first major domestic competition of 2010 in Knowsley, near Liverpool (Saturday 22nd/Sunday 23rd May).

The event, organised by UKA and hosted by Knowsley, is open to National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) with IPC licensed athletes and is the first of three events in the UKA 2010 Disability Athletics Challenge Series.

It will take place at Kirkby Sports College on a new high performance Mondo track – the fastest surface currently used in track and field in the world – and will support athletes targeting IPC Athletics World Championships qualifying standards for the event in Christchurch, New Zealand in January 2011.

Shelly Woods, Beijing Paralympics multi medallist (T54 1500m silver, 5000m bronze) said: “I’m really excited about the Liverpool event; I think it’ll be a great meet, but the real beauty of it is we don’t have to travel too far to get to it. With three scheduled events in the UK over the summer we’re getting more opportunities to race against top opposition leading into major championships, which is brilliant. This is a good venue with a fast track and it’s exciting for me because we’ve got some of the best girls in the world coming over to compete which raises the standard.”

Mickey Bushell, Beijing Paralympic 100m silver medallist and World Record holder (T53), said: “It’s really important to get experience of international competition in the UK, and having benefited in Gateshead and Crystal Palace last year, it’s great to add in a third event for 2010. We usually have to travel abroad to get qualifying times, but with the new Mondo track in Liverpool it should be fast, giving us a good chance to achieve those standards here.”

Councillor Eddie Connor, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Community and Culture (Knowsley), said: “Knowsley is delighted to be hosting this major international disability athletics event, which will see some of the sports leading stars compete. The specialist Mondo surface track at Kirkby Sport College should help to achieve fast qualifying times not just for the 2011 IPC World Championships in New Zealand, but also in preparation for London 2012.

“We are very much channelling our focus and energies in ensuring Knowsley benefits fully from the opportunities that 2012 offers and have a ‘Proud and Spirited’ programme to achieve this. The Council has recently invested over £25 Million into new leisure facilities in the Borough so we now have a wealth of world class sport and leisure facilities for elite competitors and the local community to fully benefit from.

“Knowsley Leisure and Cultural Services has already been highlighted nationally for its innovative work through achieving the 2012 Inspire Mark with key developments aimed to inspire and sustain local participation into sport and cultural opportunities, and hosting events such as this will only help to inspire a new generation to participate.”

For more information visit www.uka.org.uk/competitions