Birmingham will once again host world-class track action after UK Athletics confirmed details of the indoor and outdoor seasons for 2009.
The National Indoor Arena will host the main indoor event, the Grand Prix on February 21, following the curtain-raising Aviva International at Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall on January 31 and the European Trials in Sheffield on February 14 and 15.
The first event of the outdoor season will be the World Trials at the Alexander Stadium from July 10 to 12, followed by the London Grand Prix later in the month. A week after the close of the world championships in Berlin, Gateshead will bring the season to a close with the British Grand Prix on Monday, August 31.
UK Athletics expect to confirm next month that the Aviva London Grand Prix will again be held over two days. They are awaiting for the approval of the International Association of Athletics Federations at their council meeting for the extended event to again feature in its World Athletics Tour programme.
Last summer, the traditional Crystal Palace international meeting was successfully held over two days for the first time in 23 years and UKA are eager to do so again, probably on July 24-25 2009.
UKA chief executive Niels de Vos believes it would be a great boost for the country’s biggest athletics meeting, while it will also maintain a high athletics profile in the build-up to the 2012 London Olympic Games.
De Vos said: “The decision to run this year’s Aviva London Grand Prix on the Friday and Saturday was a great success.
“It allowed an extra 13,000 spectators through the door, it meant we attracted even more of the world’s best athletes and it was warmly received by our British athletes, the host broadcaster and sponsors.
“The Aviva London Grand Prix is such an important showcase for the sport, and is going to rise in stature yet further as we build towards the London Olympics in 2012.”
SCHEDULE: Jan 31 - Aviva International Match, Kelvin Hall, Glasgow. Feb 14&15 - Aviva European Trials & UK Championships, English Institute of Sport, Sheffield. Feb 21- Aviva Grand Prix, National Indoor Arena , Birmingham. Outdoor Season: July 10-12 - Aviva World Trials & UK Championships, Alexander Stadium, Birmingham. To be confirmed (end of July) - Aviva London Grand Prix, Crystal Palace Stadium, London. Aug 31 - Aviva British Grand Prix, International Stadium, Gateshead