Stratford’s Ohuruogu eyes the finishing line ahead of Anniversary Games
- Credit: Matt Alexander
Champion runner Christine Ohuruogu has swept away the final protective layer of soil from the finish line at the former Olympic stadium ahead of next month’s Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games.
Ohuruogu, from Stratford, will compete alongside fellow Team GB greats Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford over the three-day event – now in its third year – from July 24-26.
The stadium’s running track had been covered by soil to protect it from work to transform the stadium, including fitting a roof, ahead of the Rugby World Cup in September and the arrival of West Ham Football Club in 2016, who will call the venue home.
“It’s fantastic to be standing on the Olympic track again after so long and being chosen to remove the final protective layer from the finish line is a real honour,” said the Olympic gold and silver-medallist.
“Just being here makes me even more excited about returning to compete. To have the world best athletes back racing in this incredible venue, in front of an amazing British crowd, in my home town of Stratford, means a lot to me.
The Games will include a two-day Diamond League athletics meeting on the Friday and Saturday before the Sainsbury’s IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final on Sunday.
British Athletics have secured the right to host athletics in the Stadium for one month every year for the next 50 years from 2016, but this summer will be the final time the original London 2012 track will be used before a new one is laid for the 2017 Athletics World Championships.
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Currently the reigning world champion at 400m, Ohuruogu said she would use the Games as a “pivotal part” of her preparations for the world championships in Beijing this year where she will look to defend her title.
“I’m sure the crowd and the atmosphere [in London] will motivate me even more and I’m planning to be in the best shape possible for that race,” she said.
“It will not only bring back great memories of London 2012 and the 2013 Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, but it will begin a new and exciting era for athletics in this country, with the Olympic stadium at the centre of things for the next 50 years.”