Britain’s track and field Paralympians will have the chance to recreate this summer’s golden exploits, after the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced that London would host the 2017 IPC World Athletics Championships in the Olympic Stadium.
The championships will be held in July 2017, just a month before the same venue hosts the mainstream IAAF World Athletics Championships. London will become the first city to host the two events in the same year.
Britain’s Paralympians were quick to celebrate the announcement on Twitter.
Aled Davies, who won discus gold and shot put bronze at London 2012, tweeted: “Just touched down in Singapore to hear amazing news! The IPC World Championships are in London 2017!!! Yes!!!!!!! We get to do it all again!”
Richard Whitehead, who won 200 metres gold in London, said: “2017 Athletics World Championships in London another great opportunity to see the world’s best athletes! See you all there! Who’s coming?”
And Stephen Miller, who jointly captained the British athletics team in London in his fifth Paralympic Games, added: “In 4 years I may get to have another go in the London Olympic stadium – IPC World Athletics Championships – does #teammiller fancy a day trip?”
London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, said the capital was now “poised to recreate the magic of 2012”.
He added: “London’s Paralympic Games were the first ever to sell out, and these championships provide a perfect chance to build on that enthusiasm for disabled sport, bringing back the world’s greatest Paralympians to the Olympic Stadium, and at the same time providing a major economic boost to the capital.”
The event will be organised by the Greater London Authority, partnering with UK Athletics, ParalympicsGB, Newham council, the London Legacy Development Corporation and the University of East London.
Tim Hollingsworth, chief executive of the British Paralympic Association, said: “The British public packed the stadium to the rafters for every session during the London 2012 Paralympics and it was the scene for many of the great British moments of the summer.
“It’s fantastic news that it will be the stage for this event in 2017 and we’re sure that the public appetite will be even stronger after the Rio Games.”
The announcement came only two days after a trio of Paralympians appeared in the 12-strong shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
David Weir, Ellie Simmonds and Sarah Storey failed to feature in the top three after the public voting, but members of ParalympicsGB were recognised with three awards.
The ParalympicsGB team – which secured 34 gold, 43 silver and 43 bronze medals at London 2012 – shared the team of the year award with Team GB, Britain’s Olympic squad.
Teenage Paralympic swimming star Josef Craig, who won 400 metres freestyle gold in London, won the Young Sports Personality of the Year award. He was following in the steps of his team-mate Ellie Simmonds, who won the award in 2008.
And Martine Wright, a survivor of the 2005 London bombings, and a member of the sitting volleyball team that was told it had failed to secure any UK Sport funding just two days later, won the BBC Helen Rollason Award for “outstanding achievement in the face of adversity”.
She said it was an “absolute honour” to collect the award, and added: “I do count myself lucky that I survived that awful day, and I count myself lucky that I’ve made an incredible journey the last seven years.”
The award has previously been given to a number of sporting figures with experience of impairment or health conditions, including Oscar Pistorius, Alastair Hignell, Frank Williams and Bob Champion.
20 December 2012