This year’s schedule of events covers a variety of athletic disciplines, including the 4 x 100m relay, 400m hurdles, pole vault, discus, long jump, 100m, 400m, 1500m, 3,000m, high jump, javelin, and more. The range of events, plus the fact that the Anniversary Games take place just a few weeks before the IAAF and IPC World Championships, makes them an ideal final preparation for world-class athletes, and the 2017 games will see more than a dozen current champions take part.
- Sir Mo Farah will participate in the 3000m at the Anniversary Games as he prepares to defend his 5,000m and 10,000m titles at the World Championships in August. The 34-year-old is one of the world’s best athletes, and appears to pick up gold medals almost as easily as others pick pebbles from the beach, so he will take some beating here.
- The women’s 100m looks set to be a particularly competitive affair, with Olympic gold-medallist Elaine Thompson taking on the likes of 200m champion Dafne Schippers, European 60m champion Asha Philip and UK 100m record-holder Diner Asher-Smith.
- Current world champion long jumper Greg Rutherford, who won gold for Team GB in London 2012, and has since won gold in the 2014 Commonwealth Games and in both the European and World Athletics Championships, will be hoping to do more of the same at the Anniversary Games on Sunday. Jeff Henderson, who won long jump gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics, is expected to be his main rival in the event.
- The women’s pole vault will see current world champion Yarisley Silva take on Ekaterini Stefanidi, Sandi Morris and Eliza McCartney, who respectively won gold, silver and bronze in Rio, as well as British record-holder Holly Bradshaw.
- Zola Budd’s 32-year-old British record in the women’s one mile race could well be broken by Laura Muir this year. Muir broke Dame Kelly Holmes’ British record in the 1500m last year, so she has proven that she is capable of great things, and all eyes will now be on her attempt to beat Budd’s 1985 time of 4:17.57.
The Anniversary Games may well be useful to athletes who are preparing for the coming World Championships, but they are also important in their own right, and should make for very exciting viewing. We are confident that Mo Farah will fare very well in the 3000m event, and we are hoping that Laura Muir will continue her outstanding run of success by putting in a good show over a mile. Whether or not Muir will break the long-standing record, however, remains to be seen.
Whatever happens, the 2017 Anniversary Games has attracted some of the best athletes in the world, and we are looking forward to seeing how they perform at the London Stadium this Sunday.