CHAMPION hurdler Sally Pearson has been announced as one of the first athletes to compete at this year’s Great North CityGames as the exciting street athletics event moves to a brand new location.
Pearson, the Olympic and two-time World champion, will race in the 100m hurdles on the specially constructed track in Stockton on Tees.
It is all change for the Great North CityGames for 2019, with the event having spent a decade on NewcastleGateshead Quayside before moving to Tees Valley.
And while this event marks a Teesside debut for the Australian, Pearson, 32, is no stranger to the innovative street-level athletics competition having competed at several Great CityGames events over her glittering career.
Pearson is 2011 and 2017 World champion, and her Olympic gold medal came in the 100m hurdles at the London Games in 2012.
In 2013, Pearson took a sensational double victory at Great North CityGames, winning the 100m hurdles race and coming back to win the 150m race 75 minutes later.
Pearson said: “I’m really looking forward to competing in Stockton on Tees for the first time. I’ve had some memorable races at Great CityGames meets over the years and I’m excited about being one of the first athletes to compete in a new location.
“Street meetings are always different and you don’t know what to expect, and with the fans being able to get so close to the action it makes it something that athletes really feed off.”
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “I’m delighted to welcome Sally Pearson to the Tees Valley for the Great North CityGames. Our summer of massive events, which included BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, and concerts by Take That and Jess Glynne, is ending with a bang. I can’t wait to hear which other global athletics stars will be joining her.
“Until recently we wouldn’t have even thought about trying to land such huge events, never mind actually host them. This year, we’ve proved to promoters and the public we’re the place to be and we’ll build on this success, and that of the Rugby League World Cup 2021.”
Cllr Bob Cook, Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council said: “This is a real coup for our High Street. This new announcement shows the incredible standard of international sportspeople coming for the Great North CityGames.
“It’s set to be a massive event, and I hope Sally Pearson has as fantastic a time in Stockton as we’ll have coming out to support the CityGames.”
With a range of events on offer from 100m sprints to the one-mile distance, and including pole-vault and long jump in a specially constructed multi sports arena on Stockton-on-Tees High Street, the Great North CityGames kicks off a weekend of first-class sporting action which encompasses the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great North Run, the Simplyhealth Great North 5k, the Simplyhealth Great Tees 10K and finishes with the world-famous Simplyhealth Great North Run on Sunday.
The athletics action starts at 1pm, and is completely free to spectate with no ticket required. For more information visit greatcitygames.org