The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has hailed the news that London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will stage the LEN 2016 European Championships and the LEN European Masters Championships.
The winning bid announced by British Swimming has the capital’s Zaha Hadid designed Aquatics Centre as its heart and it is set to be the first major international event to be held at the former Olympic pool since the 2012 Games. The two world class events will include swimming, diving and synchronised swimming.
London is seeing a series of elite events coming to the city in the wake of hosting the 2012 Games. This includes the 2013 World Triathlon Grand Final, 2014 Tour de France, 2015 Rugby World Cup and the 2017 IAAF and IPC World Athletics Championships.
In addition, ahead of the one year anniversary weekend of the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Games, the long term future of all eight permanent Olympic venues on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, including the Stadium, is secured meaning London is further ahead than any other host city. From 27 July the Copper Box will be the first of the venues to reopen.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “This is simply fantastic news for London and a glowing testimony for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s status as a world-beating destination for elite sport. The stunning Aquatics Centre, home to some of the most dramatic sporting moments during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, is a fitting setting for these flagship international championships. Together with the London Legacy Development Corporation, we’ll now be working hard with British Swimming to ensure this event is a roaring success.”
Chief executive of London Legacy Development Corporation, Dennis Hone, said: “Winning this bid confirms Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as a premiere destination for world-class sporting events. Now every sporting venue on the Park will host world-class competitions in the near future. We are on track to deliver a fantastic elite and grass roots sporting legacy on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.”
Iain Edmondson, Head of Major Events at London & Partners, the Mayor’s official promotional organisation, said: “This fantastic news is testament to years of hard work by many organisations responsible for ensuring a lasting legacy of the 2012 Games. London & Partners is proud to have been a key part of this success from the initial feasibility through to submitting the final bid. The European Swimming Championships will be a major milestone for major events in the city for 2016 sitting between the 2015 Rugby World Cup and 2017 IAAF and IPC Athletics World Championships.”
Mark Sesnan, chief executive of GLL the charitable Social Enterprise that operates the Aquatic Centre on behalf of the LLDC, said: “We are very excited to be hosting the 2016 European Championships at the superb Aquatics Centre on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It is a fantastic example of the Olympic legacy and will bring once again the very best of international sport to London. It will also be a great boost for the sport and help encourage swimming participation from grass roots through to elite sport.”