SOME of the world’s most decorated para-athletes will take on the challenge of the city centre athletics meeting when they compete at next week’s Arcadis Great CityGames Manchester.
Nine-time Paralympic and World champion Jason Smyth will be the leading light in the men’s T13 150m race, while an all-British trio of Sophie Hahn, Georgie Hermitage and Katrina Hart will take on the T37/38 100m race next Friday night.
Irishman Smyth holds world records in the T13 – visually impaired – category over 100m and 200m and has won five Paralympic gold and four World Championship golds in a glittering career spanning a decade.
The 30-year-old will face Britain’s Zak Skinner and Spanish duo Ivan Jose and Eduardo Manuel on the pop-up track on Manchester’s Deansgate on Friday, 18 May.
In the women’s races, Hahn, Hermitage and Hart have a clutch of Paralympic, World and Commonwealth medals between them and will battle it out for CityGames supremacy.
Hahn took gold at the Paralympic Games in Rio two years ago in the T38 100m and has won five World Championship golds over 100m and 200m, including relays.
Hermitage competes in the T37 classification and scooped two golds in Rio over 100m and 400m and has four World Championship golds to her name over the 100m and 400m.
Birmingham-born Hart has a Paralympic bronze medal from London 202 in the 4x100m relay and is a three-time medallist in the World Championships, all coming from a successful jaunt to Christchurch in 2011.
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.