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preview: men's t54 1500m at muller anniversary games

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14 July 2016

The men’s 1500m T54 race promises to be one of the most dramatic events of the entire weekend as T54 heavyweights Marcel Hug, dubbed “the silver bullet”, and British para-athletics icon David Weir lock horns once more as part of a jam packed IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final schedule at the Muller Anniversary Games.

Taking place between 12-2pm on Saturday 23 July, the IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final will feature some of the world’s best Paralympic athletes before the IAAF Diamond League follows immediately after as part of the same event.

Four-time Paralympian Weir, who has collected a staggering total of 27 major competition medals throughout his career, faces his Swiss nemesis on home soil for the first time since this year’s London Marathon in April. Hug was the victor on that occasion, denying Weir his seventh London Marathon title.

Their rivalry has been a common theme in major races over the last decade as both men established themselves as two of the most prolific athletes ever.

The long standing rivalry in the T54 class dates back to the World Championships of 2006 in Assen, where they faced up in the 400m. Weir proved too strong on that day, beating the then twenty year old Hug into second place.

The two would clash in epic proportions on David Weir’s home soil in the 2012 London Paralympics in both the 800m and marathon. The battle over 26.2 miles proved to be one of the greatest racing spectacles ever in a Paralympics, with Weir edging out Hug by just a second as they crossed the tape.

The race in London on the 23rd July provides yet another chance to savour these two great athletes in action as they continue their preparations for the Rio Paralympic Games. Currently Hug is the world record holder for the 1500 distance in a time of 2.54.51, set back in 2010, but is only seven tenths of a second quicker than Weir’s PB.

They will however face stiff competition from another British racer, Richard Chiassaro. The Harlow Athletics Club racer is better known for his sprinting prowess having won the 200m gold and 100m silver at the European Championships in Grosseto last month and is currently ranked in the top five for both events worldwide. He hasn’t raced in the 1500m since 2015 and boasts a PB of 3.24.46, but Chiassaro will be looking to upset the favourites come race day.

Tickets for the Muller Anniversary Games can still be purchased via: http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/british-athletics-series/london-anniversary-games/