A brilliant opportunity for the Scottish sporting public to witness top class athletics – and a chance for some Team Scotland members to give Hampden a ‘trial run’.
The prospect of a Sainsbury’s Diamond League fixture in Glasgow was first mooted some 12 months ago around the time of the Anniversary Games.
A suitable venue was being sought with London’s Olympic Stadium no longer available and Hampden, once it had undergone its transformation, fitted the bill.
Now a host of global medallists, as well as a number of our own elite athletes, will grace the stadium this weekend – with a very exciting series of events lined up.
Mo Farah’s unfortunate absence following illness notwithstanding, the calibre of athletes on show is exemplified via the likes of David Rudisha, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Yohan Blake, Ashton Eaton and Greg Rutherford.
And there are a host of Scots involved in the various events over the weekend including the likes of Eilidh Child, Eilish McColgan, Jayne Nisbet, Chris O’Hare, Jake Wightman, Lynsey Sharp, Laura Muir, Libby Clegg, Stef Reid, Allan Smith, David Smith, Jax Thoirs, Lennie Waite.
‘We always knew that 2014 was going to be a special year for our sport and the Sainsbury’s Grand Prix has given added even more gloss,’ said Nigel Holl, chief executive of scottishathletics.
‘The year started in January with a full team Scotland involved in the Glasgow International at the Emirates Arena and now, with the Commonwealth Games right on the horizon, the temperature is rising.
‘This really is a one-off for athletics in Scotland. It is Hampden ‘reverting’ to an athletics stadium because there were some very significant meetings in the past – a number of years ago now, however.
‘We’ve Scottish athletes competing this weekend but we should stress that the Games that follow have been planned for a number of years and is very much the focus. The Diamond League is a bonus – but a very good one at that.’
Chris O’Hare said: ‘I missed the British Champs and that was a tough one but training has been going well since then. I am really excited about Saturday’s race.
Eilidh Child said: ‘It is a great opportunity for us to see what things are like at Hampden prior to the Games. Even things like where the warm-up track is, the call room and so on can all be helpful for you in preparing.
‘I can’t wait to experience a Hampden crowd for athletics – that should be great.’
Eilish McColgan: ‘It will be all new and my brothers and sister are going to be in the stands to watch me for the first time. I’ve only been here once for a press call for the track transformation and it was quite impressive then.’
Read the Athletics Weekly preview which includes a guide to the events.