By Martha George
The Great City Games is set to bring the athletes out of the stadium and into the streets of Manchester this weekend.
The games showcases athletics in a completely unique way, allowing the public the gain an up close and personal experience completely for free and also allowing athletes new to the sport an opportunity to take in the thrill of the competition.
The event will be part of a jam packed weekend of sport, running in association with events such as the Morrisons Great Manchester Run, Europe’s biggest 10k run and the Morrisons Junior and Mini Great Manchester Run.
Many star athletes such as Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt have previously graced the track. Back in 2009 Bolt performed outstandingly, obtaining a time of 14.35s in the 150m sprint straight.
The event is set to bring in over 25,000 spectators to fill Manchester’s city centre in Deansgate who will all be waiting to see world class talent.
Olympic Heptathlon champion, Jessica Ennis- Hill will be competing for the first time in two years after multiple injuries and arrival of her new baby. She plans to compete against former 2014 Great City Games 100m hurdles winner Tiffany Porter who is in top form ahead of Saturday.
Record holder Porter has run 34 of the 35 fastest 100m hurdles times ran by a Brit. Both Porter and Ennis-Hill will have their work cut out though as Brianna Rollins will be a strong contender for the 200m hurdles.
22-year old Katerina Johnson-Thompson, Britain’s latest sensation is also set to make an appearance after beating Ennis-Hill’s European Indoor pentathlon. She is set to face team mate Eildih Child, a former European 400m hurdle gold and silver medalist at the Commonwealth games in the 200m women’s hurdles.
With Richard Kilty being newly crowned with the 60m in the European Indoors and winning the 2014 World Indoor title, the Gateshead Harrier will be set to go head- to-head with Kim Collins, the 39-year-old who won the 2002 Commonwealth Games 100m title in Manchester.
Kilty will be set out for revenge as the pair have come face to face four times in the past where Collins had managed to beat him every time, but with Kilty’s recent victories, GB have high hopes for the young individual.