TWO of England’s Commonwealth Games gold-medal winning sprinters have been announced to compete at Friday night’s Arcadis Great CityGames Manchester.
Richard Kilty and Harry Aikines Aryeetey will take on the 150m and 100m events respectively on the pop-up track which forms part of the innovative city centre athletics meeting in the heart of Manchester on Friday 18 May.
Kilty and Aikines-Aryeetey were part of England’s 4x100m relay team that took the gold medal on the Gold Coast last month and start as favourites in their respective events.
Stockton’s Kilty, like Aikines-Aryeetey, is no stranger to Great CityGames events having competed in Manchester and the sister event in Gateshead numerous times previously.
Kilty added Commonwealth gold to the silver he won as part of the 4x100m team in Glasgow 2014, and also has a World Indoor Championship gold as well as two European Indoor Championship gold medals to his name.
He will take on Dutchman Solomon Bockarie and David Lima in the rarely-raced 150m distance, with Northern Ireland’s bronze medal-winning Commonwealth sprinter Leon Reid also announced for the four-way race.
Both Kilty and Aikines-Aryeetey were involved in the 150m race on Deansgate last year, but the Sutton-born sprinter will compete in the 100m on Friday.
Aikines-Aryeetey ran the anchor leg in England’s sensational Commonwealth Games 4x100m relay victory, taking the baton from Kilty and running the race of his life to hold off Jamaica’s Yohan Blake on the home straight.
Much of Aikines-Aryeetey’s success on the track has been as part of a relay team, with a European Championships gold in Zurich in 2014 adding to 2009’s bronze medal in the 4x100m relay in Berlin.
The 29-year-old will be up against Britain’s Andy Robertson and Norway’s Jonathan Quarcoo in the blue riband sprint event, which will be broadcast live on BBC Two from 6pm-7.30pm.
The live, city-centre athletics competition is a headline date in the city's packed sporting calendar. Since its inception in 2009 the event has brought some of the biggest names in international sport to the city including Olympic heroes Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford.
The Arcadis Great CityGames Manchester is completely free to spectate, taking athletics out of the stadium and on to the streets. It will give thousands of spectators the opportunity to experience the sport from a unique perspective, while showcasing the best of Manchester live on BBC Two.
The event is part of a packed weekend of sport in the city that includes thousands of runners of all abilities taking on the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run, which offers a 10K and half marathon distance.