Horse Guards Parade and The Mall today played host to one of the athletics events of the year as the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games returned to London two years on from the 2012 Olympic Games.
With spectators packing out the purpose built arena on Horse Guards Parade and even more fans lining the streets of The Mall for the road races, there could be no doubting the atmosphere and the British public’s support.
On The Mall, there was a British victory for David Weir in the men’s T53/54 wheelchair mile much to the delight of his local London crowd. Of the support the WeirWolf said:
“It’s nice to finish on probably the smoothest road in London. Winning in such an iconic location is great. I finish here for the London Marathon, so to get the opportunity to come out and compete out here again is great for me as a Londoner. The crowd were amazing.”
After finishing third in a world class men’s 110mH race just three thousandth’s of a second outside his personal best, William Sharman praised both Sainsbury’s and British Athletics for making the event happen.
“It was amazing. I feel really privileged as well as it’s only the third ever sporting event to take place at Horse Guards Parade. It started in the eighteenth century with jousting and at London 2012 there was women’s volleyball and now it’s athletics. I don’t think there will be many more sporting events here if any, so it’s a real privilege to be here.”
World silver medallist and race winner Ryan Wilson also commented:
“It was awesome – I tried to not get any pictures before the event because I didn’t want to get distracted! The venue is pretty incredible and it’s an honour to be part of a very rare athletics event here.”
After winning the other men’s hurdles race, Commonwealth champion Andy Turner commented:
“Without doubt, it is the best setting to compete in. I love events like these; the sport needs to attract more fans using locations like these.”