Some of the world’s best athletes will compete in Birmingham on Saturday 29 June when the British city’s Alexander Stadium stages the 2013 IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final.
Taking place three weeks before the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France, the Birmingham IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final will be the seventh and final event of the IPC Athletics Grand Prix. The series was launched this year to give athletes greater opportunities to compete against the world’s best whilst also developing a framework of excellence in competition management.
Being staged just one day before the British Athletics Birmingham Grand Prix, the event is expected to welcome more than 144 athletes competing in 18 events.
Ed Warner, Chairman of the IPC Athletics Sport Technical Committee, said: “We are delighted that Birmingham will stage the final event of our IPC Athletics Grand Prix this year.
“We created this Grand Prix to give athletes a chance to compete on the highest level and we are confident that many of our best athletes will come to Birmingham to test their form ahead of the World Championships in Lyon in July.”
Hannah Cockcroft, British gold medal winner at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, said: “I'm so excited to see the UK hosting another world-class athletics event and this time in Birmingham, so even closer to home for me.
“Seeing as the event is in June, it provides a great chance to get the qualification standards for July’s World Championships in Lyon.
“There is nothing better than competing in front of a home crowd as we showed in London. The British public really got behind all the athletes and that support really helps you with your performance.”
“I am really excited to see that the UK has another opportunity to showcase high quality disability sport in Birmingham. Winning gold was amazing and doing that in my home country was even more special. To be able to have the chance to run in front of a home crowd is exciting for any British athlete.
Jonnie Peacock, the British 100m T44 Paralympic champion, said: “Having that backing from the crowd and to hear the chants of my name from the stands was a moment I’ll never forget. The IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final gives the public another opportunity to see some of the best athletes that Britain and the world have to offer and I can’t wait.
“There aren’t many opportunities to compete in the UK and against a world-class field, so this event is great for the sport.”
British Athletics’ Commercial Director Sophia Warner said: “I know from experience that the world’s top stars love the opportunity to compete in front of a British crowd so this is superb news not only for British Athletics but for disability athletics.
“With our top athletes competing in the British Athletics Glasgow International Match, the IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final confirmed for Birmingham, and the third day of athletics at the London Anniversary Games I am proud that we are working so well with our IPC colleagues to create a competition legacy for our disabled athletes.”
Simon Morton, Director of Major Events at UK Sport, said: “Almost one year on from London 2012, the IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final will be a fantastic opportunity for athletes to enjoy the enthusiastic support of the British crowd once again, as well as acting as the perfect warm-up for the IPC World Championships.
“Part of UK Sport’s National Lottery backed Gold Event Series, this world class event will help the city of Birmingham further develop its event hosting capabilities, training and equipping local volunteers and support staff with vital experience.”
Councillor Ward, Deputy Leader Birmingham City Council said: "Birmingham is looking forward to welcoming the IPC Family to the city's Alexander Stadium this summer for the IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final. The series builds on the excitement and successes from London 2012 and we hope to see big crowds support our British athletes competing on a world stage.
“This pioneering event demonstrates further the city's commitment to staging a wide range of major sporting events and looks to build on the great success of the annual British Athletics Birmingham Grand Prix."
The IPC Athletics Grand Prix started this weekend with a three day meet in Dubai, UAE which featured 460 athletes from 32 countries. In April there will be meetings in Beijing, China and Sao Paulo, Brazil whilst in May athletes will compete in Grosseto, Italy and Arizona, USA. The final meeting prior to Birmingham takes place in mid-June in Berlin, Germany.
Qualification details for the event will be communicated to National Paralympic Committees shortly.
The IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final is the latest addition to the IPC Athletics competition calendar. In an effort to grow the sport post London, IPC Athletics has confirmed host cities for the World Championships in 2015 (Doha, Qatar) and 2017 (London, UK) as well as the European Championships in 2014 (Swansea, Wales) and the first IPC Athletics Marathon World Cup to coincide with this April’s Virgin London Marathon.