Two of Britain’s best athletes will be heading to the region to help kick-start this year’s Great North Run festivities.
It has been revealed that Christine Ohuruogu, 400m World Champion, is set to compete at the Great North City Games on Saturday, September 14.
Ohuruogu is making a welcome return to the event, which aims to bring athletics out of the stadium and into the city - introducing the sport to a whole new audience.
She has competed at previous meetings in both Newcastle and Gateshead and Manchester and will once again be racing at the event which takes place the day before the Great North Run.
The news comes following an announcement that double world and Olympic hero, Mo Farah, is to return to the North East to take up the role as honorary starter of the Bupa Great North 5k.
The Great North 5k is the first event in the two days of the Bupa Great North Run activities and will be held along the Quayside on the Newcastle and Gateshead sides. The shorter distance attracts runners of all abilities and about 1,500 are expected to take part.
Later the same day, the Bupa Junior Great North Run and Mini Great North Run will take place as well as the Great North CityGames, which will see Ohuruogu complete alongside other world-class athletes.
The 29-year-old Londoner’s appearance will mark the end of a superb season which has seen her triumph individually at the World Championships in Moscow and complete a brilliant leg as Great Britain finished third in the 4x400m relay.
“Let’s remember she also has an Olympic silver medal from last year’s London Games under her belt and also several in the 4x400m relay,” said Pete Riley, elite athlete manager of the Great North City Games.
“After her displays in Moscow I’m sure she will receive a tremendous welcome from the home crowd on the Gateshead Quayside.
“It will be great to see her back at the meeting where she won the 150m in 2009 and she has also been a regular at the Great CityGames Manchester, where she has appeared three times.
Mr Riley revealed that lining up against the home star on the specially-constructed track will be the USA’s Natasha Hastings – herself stepping down from 400m – and Jamaica’s 2004 Olympic sprint relay gold medallist Aleen Bailey.
Now entering its fifth year, the Great North CityGames has become an established highlight in an action packed sporting weekend in the North East. Staged the day before the Bupa Great North Run, the event continues to attract world-class athletes to the region.