Paralympic golden girl and one of the stars of the London 2012 Games, Hannah Cockroft, will take on a world-class field over one lap at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games on Sunday 26 July, which incorporates the IPC Athletics Grand Prix final.
The double gold medallist will take on her British teammates over 400m T34 and international challengers. This will include Amy Siemons, the Dutch athlete who twice took silver behind her at London 2012, as Cockroft prepares for a difficult treble of the 100m, 400m and 800m races at both October’s World Championships in Doha, Qatar and the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Fans at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games will also get to cheer as loud as they did three years ago for other ParalympicsGB London 2012 stars, including Jonnie Peacock, David Weir, Richard Whitehead and Shelly Woods.
Hannah Cockroft said: “I am really excited to be back racing in the Stadium in front of the British crowd before I head to Doha for the World Championships. The roar of the crowd made London 2012 extra-special and I’m looking forward to the support of the fans helping me push hard round the track at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games on Sunday.”
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “It is terrific news that Paralympic golden girl Hannah Cockroft will be back on hallowed ground in the stadium where she won the hearts of the nation. It will add to what looks set to be another fantastic day of action on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.”
With the World Championships in October and the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in just over a year, more than 100 para-athletes are travelling to London from across the world to compete in 20 events in the former Olympic and Paralympic Stadium.
The head-to-head clash between David Weir, winner of four gold medals in London 2012, and Swiss arch-rival Marcel Hug will also be hotly anticipated. As will the rematch between London 2012 gold medallist Jonnie Peacock and US silver medallist Richard Browne, who has gone on to break his T44 world record and remains unbeaten since the start of 2014.
Fans will also be looking forward to seeing the world’s fastest female double-amputee, Marlou van Rhijn, in action and a battle for 1500m T54 crown between the experienced British Paralympic medallist Shelly Woods and young-gun Jade Jones.
Highlights of the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games IPC Grand Final include:
David Weir MBE, winner of four gold medals at London 2012, going to head-to-head with arch-rival Marcel Hug (Switzerland), who Weir beat into second at the London 2012 Games. Hug, the current World and European 1500m T54 champion and world record holder will be looking to inflict his first defeat against the ‘Weirwolf’ in a major track race.
World record holder over 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m, Hannah Cockroft MBE taking on the 400m distance against GB teammates Paige Murray, Kare Adenegan, Melissa Nicholls, who all have their sites set on the Rio 2016 Games, as well as the double London 2012 silver medallist Amy Siemons from the Netherlands and Djami Diallo (Canada), Desiree Vranken (Nederlands) and Alexa Halko (USA).
The 100m T44 could see a new world record as London 2012 gold medallist Jonnie Peacock faces silver medallist Richard Browne (USA), who is aiming to lower his 10.78 world best and extend his year-long winning streak.
T42 world champion and world record holder, Richard Whitehead MBE, will be looking for the strength and support from the crowd that saw him surge from behind to win the London 2012 gold medal. Whitehead goes against Regas Woods (USA), the fastest in the world this year, and Army Officer David Henson MBE, who won the 2014 Invictus Games and captained the British team.
British teenage sprint sensation, Sophie Hahn, who started racing after watching the London 2012 Games and a year later was 100m T38 world champion and world record Holder. Hahn will face London 2012 gold medallist Margarita Goncharova (Russia), who briefly took the world record last year before Hahn won it back 24-hours later.
The Dutch world champion and world record holding, Marlou Van Rhijn, will be looking to go one better than her 100m T43/44 silver medal at the London 2012 Games. As will silver medallist in the London 2012 200m T12 and Commonwealth Games champion Libby Clegg, who goes up against the fastest woman in Europe.
Experienced Paralympic medal winner and former world record holder, Shelly Woods, up against Jade Jones, the protégé of Tanni Grey-Thompson aiming for the Rio 2016 Games.
In the long jump T44, London 2012 gold medallist, Markus Rehm (Germany), could set a Stadium record if he extends his incredible unoffial world record of 8.29 by 2cm to Greg Rutherford’s gold medal-winning distance at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
In the shot put and club throw, Brits Sabrina Fortune and Gemma Prescott are up against the world number one.