Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Get on Your Marks for Sporting Glory ; GreatCity Games and 10k in Weekend of Action

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Get on Your Marks for Sporting Glory ; GreatCity Games and 10k in Weekend of Action

Article excerpt

THE starting gun was firing today on a Bank Holiday weekend sporting extravaganza in Manchester. Star athletes were taking to the track, the air and the sand in the BT Great CityGames, the fifth time the event has been held in Manchester.

Thousands are expected to gather on Deansgate later to watch top sprinters compete over various distances.

A long-jump pit has been added this year at Albert Square, with the pole vault also taking place outside Manchester town hall. Usain Bolt set a new world best for the 150-metre sprint in Manchester in 2009 while in 2010 Tyson Gay set a new world record in the 200- metre event. Great Manchester Run was first held in 2003 - started by Sir Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and Mike Summerbee Organisers are hoping more records will be set this year.

Famous faces include gold medal-winning long-jumper Greg Rutherford and star US sprinter Allyson Felix.

Paralympians will also compete for the first time this year, with Alan Oliveira and Jonnie Peacock the pick of the crop.

Brendan Foster, former Olympic 10,000m bronze medallist and chairman of organisers Nova International, said: "After the best and most successful ever Paralympic Games last summer, we know the thousands of spectators will be thrilled with the addition of these new events." All events are free with no tickets required.

The Games will be followed by the Great Manchester Run. The event is Britain's biggest 10km run - with more than 40,000 expected to lace up their trainers in Manchester to pound the streets for charity.

The race, now in its 11th year, will be broadcast live on BBC2 from 10am, with the world's greatestever distance runner, Haile Gebrselassie, one of the elite athletes taking part. More than 100,000 bottles of water will be drunk by runners during 10k Bank Holiday Monday sees the turn of children. More than 2,000 will take part in the Bupa Junior and Mini Great Manchester Runs. It will feature a 1.5k minievent for children aged between three and eight and a 2. …

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