Twelve months on from an extraordinary summer of sport, British fans have one final opportunity to bask in the glorious memories of London 2012 as the Sainbury’s Anniversary Games takes place inside the Olympic Stadium.
A weekend of world-class international athletics will be held at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on the anniversary of the opening to the London 2012 Games.
The Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games will span over three days, with the IAAF Diamond League meet taking place on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, featuring the return of many Olympic champions, with all the action live on the BBC.
A third day of action on the Sunday is dedicated to showcasing the Paralympic champions of 2012, which will be covered by Channel 4.
More than 150,000 people are expected to gather inside the Olympic Stadium across the three days to witness the return of international athletics to the venue for the first time since London 2012.
Tickets for the first two days of the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games in the Olympic Stadium sold out in just 75 minutes, with only a handful remaining for the final day of Paralympic action.
Some of the biggest names in athletics will be in action over the three days and you can see all the action live on BBC TV and Channel 4. Full details below.
A selection of the world’s finest athletes will descend on the London as the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games begins with the two-day Diamond League meeting, with all the action live only on the BBC.
Considered one of the best Diamond League meets in the world, 2012 saw a host of British and international champions put in show-stopping performances at Crystal Palace, the usual home of the London leg of the series.
Now the event moves to the more grander setting of London’s Olympic Stadium as British Athletics marks the one-year anniversary of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The meeting, which doubles up as the London Grand Prix – the 11th round of the 2013 Diamond League series, sees the world’s best athletes clash across the globe throughout the summer.
Six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt will make his return to London on day one of the meeting, one year on from his stunning solo victories in the 100m and 200m.
Bolt races over 100m at the climax of Friday night’s action against his countryman Nesta Carter, the ever-present Kim Collins, Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre, US pair Michael Rodgers and Charles Silmon, new British whizz-kid James Dasaolu, and UK champion Dwain Chambers.
Friday’s track action also includes a men’s 200 m with Bolt’s compatriot and Olympic bronze medallist Warren Weir against Fellow Jamaican Jason Young, Lemaitre, Dutch sprinter Churandy Martina, France’s Jimmy Vicaut and USA’s Wallace Spearmon.
The pick of the women’s track action could be the 400m hurdles in which the Czech Republic’s in-form Diamond Race leader Zuzana Hejnová takes on the US world leader Kori Carter and Britain’s local girl Perri Shakes-Drayton, who was born and lives nearby the Olympic Stadium.
Bolt will be there for the meeting’s finale too, at the end of Saturday afternoon’s action, when he races in a 4x100m Relay for his Racers Track Club team from Jamaica, against two British quartets and others from Europe, Canada and Australia.
This race will immediately follow the meeting’s other showcase event – the 3000m featuring Mo Farah against Ethiopia’s Tariku Bekele, USA’s Dathan Ritzenhein and Kenyans Gideon Gathimba and Ismael Kombich.
The timing of these two races suggests Farah and Bolt are likely to revisit their memorable celebration-swapping antics from the concluding moments of London 2012.
There are four quality non-Diamond League track events, the pick of which is arguably the women’s 100m Hurdles, which has two London 2012 champions – Sally Pearson and Jessica Ennis-Hill – against Britain’s Tiffany Porter and American hurdlers Nia Ali and Kellie Wells.
One Olympic champion who will be missing is Britain’s injured gold medallist Greg Rutherford from the Long Jump, one of three Diamond League field events on Saturday, but the super-consistent Russian Aleksandr Menkov will be up against Mexico’s new find, world leader Luis Rivera.
With the World Championships just two weeks away, the London Anniversary Games will serve as ideal preparation for Moscow, as well as evoke memories of last summer’s fantastic Olympic sporting spectacle.
Another memorable weekend of international athletics is expected to unfold inside the Olympic Stadium and BBC Sport will cover both sessions of the London Diamond League meeting live on July 26-27.
Gabby Logan will present BBC TV’s live coverage from inside the stadium, where she will be joined for expert analysis by Colin Jackson, Denise Lewis and Paula Radcliffe.
Steve Cram leads the commentary team alongside Paul Dickenson, Brendan Foster, Jonathan Edwards, Andrew Cotter, while Phil Jones will conduct trackside interviews with the athletes.
Friday’s evening session will begin on BBC Two at 7.30pm before coverage switches over for the last hour-and-a-half to BBC One at 8.30pm.
On Saturday afternoon, all the action will be shown live in its entirety on BBC One from 1.30pm with the first event starting at 2.00pm.
Before live coverage begins on Saturday, BBC Sport launches its new monthly Olympic series ‘Inspire: The Olympic Journey’.
Also hosted by Logan, the new series will celebrate the biggest names, the rising stars and the unsung heroes of Olympic sport.
The first episode airs on Saturday, July 27, at 12.45pm on BBC One and will be based in Glasgow to mark one year until the 2014 Commonwealth Games begins.
BBC TV’s coverage of the London Anniversary Games will also be available in high-definition on BBC One HD and BBC Two HD.
The action can be seen online via the BBC Sport website and app, plus both live programmes can be seen on-demand via BBC iPlayer shortly after transmission.
BBC Radio 5 live will also cover the London Diamond League meeting on Friday and Saturday, as well as the Paralympic events on Sunday.
Mike Costello leads the team with commentary from Allison Curbishley, Steve Backley and Sonja McLauglin. Double Olympic champion Donovan Bailey joins the BBC 5 live team for the event.
On the presentation team for the Paralympic events on Sunday will be Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Allison Curbishley, Ed Harry, Russell Fuller and ex-Paralympian Kate Grey.
The London Anniversary Games culminates on Sunday afternoon with the Paralympians back at the scene of their glory last year.
All the British gold medallists from London 2012 will be in attendance, including David Weir, Jonnie Peacock, Hannah Cockroft and Richard Whitehead, for what promises to be a memorable reunion of Paralympic stars inside the Olympic Stadium.
A full house is expected to soak up the atmosphere and bring all the golden memories of the Paralympics twelve months ago flooding back.
Ade Adepitan and Clare Balding will reunite to present Channel 4’s exclusive coverage of the third and final day of the London Anniversary Games – the Sainsbury’s International Para Challenge.
John Rawling and Rob Walker will lead the commentary team alongside 2004 Paralympic champion Danny Crates and former Olympian Katharine Merry.
Roving reports and interviews around the stadium will come from Sonja McLaughlan and Iwan Thomas.
All the action will also be shown in high-definition on Channel 4 HD and the live programme will be available to watch shortly after transmission on 4OD.
Commenting on her role with Channel 4’s coverage of the event, Balding said: ‘I’m delighted that one year on, everyone will be able to catch up with their Paralympic heroes and heroines of London 2012.’
Ade Adepitan added: “Being part of Channel 4’s Paralympics presenting team last year was a real honour and I’m so proud to be back celebrating the sporting achievements of 2012 at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games.
“I’m expecting some amazing performances and audiences full of pride and adrenalin – just like our British athletes.”
Channel 4’s ground-breaking coverage of the 2012 Paralympics, which reached almost 40 million people, won two BAFTA awards earlier this year, including Best Sport and Live Event and Digital Creativity.
Jamie Aitchison, Channel 4’s sports editor, said: ‘We look forward to enjoying more Superhuman performances on Channel 4 throughout the summer and reacquainting ourselves with the likes of Jonnie Peacock, Hannah Cockcroft and David Weir.
Channel 4’s coverage of the Sainbury’s Anniversary Games follows straight after its extensive output from the IPC World Athletics Championships in Lyon, which take place from July 20-28, with five hours of daily live coverage on More4.
Friday 26th July Diamond League: Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games – Day 1/3 LIVE: 7.30pm-8.30pm BBC Two / 8.30pm-10.00pm BBC One Saturday 27th July Diamond League: Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games – Day 2/3 LIVE: 1.30pm-5.15pm BBC One Sunday 28th July IPC International Para Challenge – Day 3/3 LIVE: 3.00pm-5.30pm Channel 4