The world's top athletes will get their first taste of competitive action at Glasgow's stunning new Commonwealth Sports Arena in January 2013 it has been confirmed.
Organisers of the Aviva International Match have announced the star-studded fixture will relocate to the £113million venue in Glasgow’s East End next January, bringing to an end a 21-year association with the Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena.
The move will give athletes access to some of the best indoor sporting facilities in the world. The Commonwealth Sports Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome will be one of the biggest facilities of its kind in Europe. It is located on a 10.5 hectare site in Dalmarnock, close to Celtic Park and the Commonwealth Games Athletes Village.
The new facility is being built by Glasgow City Council and plans are already being put in place for its official opening late this year.
Meanwhile Saturday’s farewell Aviva International Match at the Kelvin Hall was a sell out, with history created in the very final event of the day. Golden boy of British athletics, Mo Farah, who stepped down in distance to take on 1,500m specialist Kenyan Augustine Choge, set a new stadium record that will now last forever.
And Farah was full of praise for the Glasgow crowd after his victory. He said: “The crowd was amazing – they just really got behind me and it really means a lot. I couldn’t believe how much noise was coming out of the crowd – it was unbelievable. I’ve never experienced that in my life.”
Current world 100m bronze medallist Kim Collins, who finished second in both the 60m and 200m events on Saturday, also had high praise for the Glasgow fans. Collins, who hails from St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean, said: “I feel like the home favourite when I run here in Glasgow. It is great to feel the love and support the crowd show me.”
Home favourite Mark Lewis Francis, who beat Collins to win the 60m event, said: “I love it in Glasgow – it’s my second time winning here and I really enjoyed it. It is always a pleasure to run when it is the last international match at a venue. It was a great honour to come back here and run in front of an amazing crowd.”
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