Don leads out stars at Olympic Stadium

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 26:  General atmosphere on day one during the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games - IAAF Diamond League 2013 at The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on July 26, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images for Sainsburys) *** Local Caption ***
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 26: General atmosphere on day one during the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games - IAAF Diamond League 2013 at The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on July 26, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images for Sainsburys) *** Local Caption ***

A Whitby man is looking back on a day like no other after leading out world class athletes at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games.

World class athletes from 400m finals including Nigel Levine, Conrad Williams and Kirani James were led out by Don Abbott, a local runner who works at the town’s Sainsbury’s store and has competed in marathons across the world.

He won the opportunity last year after promoting Sainsbury’s sponsorship of the Paralympic Games, in Whitby.

Looking back on his star-studied weekend, proud Don said: “It was such an honour to have lead out many inspirational athletes.

“I was really proud to have played a part last summer in raising awareness of the Paralympic Games with our colleagues and customers and the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games helped to showcase the success of British Athletics as a whole.

“It was brilliant to be involved and an experience I’ll never forget.”

Nearly 60 Sainsbury’s colleagues across the UK, including Don, won the chance to either lead out athletes or present medals to winning athletes at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – the first time a sporting event has taken place at the venue since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The games saw a weekend of world class athletic and para-athletics talent on display, with several of London 2012’s gold medal heroes returning to the Olympic Stadium.

The IAAF Diamond League action took place at the stadium on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon featuring the world’s fastest man and six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt, alongside British double Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m champion Mo Farah.

A third day of jam-packed action on Sunday was dedicated to showcasing the best of global para-athletic stars featured British Paralympic gold medallists and recent world champions Hannah Cockcroft and Jonnie Peacock.