6th August 2010


6 August 2010

Virgin London Marathon men’s wheelchair winner Josh Cassidy (Canada) returns to the UK for the first time since his impressive debut over 26.2 miles when he lines up in UKA’s third and final Disability Athletics Challenge meeting of 2010 at Crystal Palace, London (Sunday 15 August), heading a strong international challenge.

The 25-year-old, who spent three weeks prior to London training with Britain’s double Paralympic champion David Weir, will line up alongside his friend and rival in the T53/T54 800m and 1500m as the pair continue their IPC Athletics World Championships qualifying campaign for the global event in January 2011.

“It’s great to see that there are some high quality events going on in the UK right now, especially with London 2012 on the horizon,” said the Beijing Paralympian who backed up his capital victory with a brilliant win in the ING Ottawa Marathon at the end of May.

"Great Britain is a leader in Paralympic Sport, and events such as this are testament to the level of performance this nation is aiming for both on and off the track in 2012.

"I was so disappointed to miss out on the opening event of the series in Knowsley back in May when the volcanic ash brought most of northern Europe – and further afield – to a standstill. Having the opportunity to return to compete in London when we’re only two years out from the Paralympic Games is such an exciting opportunity.”

Cassidy has been in outstanding form in 2010. Following his marathon victories in April and May he went on to achieve a trio of Canadian national records in the Swiss Championships in Arbon in June – an event in which David Weir also excelled – with new lifetime best marks over 1500m (2:55.73), 5000m (9:55.13) and 10,000m (19:51.54).

Building on the success of the pilot event in 2009, the 2010 UKA Disability Athletics Challenge Series – primarily created to raise the profile of Paralympic athletics and to provide domestic competition opportunities and aid preparation for major championsips – has evolved to include three events and commenced in Knowsley, Liverpool in May, with over 70 athletes from nine nations represented.

Crystal Palace, with 120 athletes from 19 nations, marks the third and final event in the 2010 series.

UK Sport’s Event Consultant, Lucy Crickmore added:

“UK Sport has worked with closely with UKA and other partners to plan the 2010 Disability Challenge Athletics Series with events in Gateshead in July and in Crystal Palace in August immediately following the IAAF Diamond League competitions. We are delighted to be investing in and supporting both of these important events which not only offer fantastic international performance competitions for British athletes but will also provide two invaluable opportunities for British officials and volunteers ahead of London 2012.”  

To register as a spectator for the London Disability Challenge click here