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Team GB stars unveiled as Champions Series ambassadors

12 Apr 2017

Champions to focus on similarities between themselves and racehorses

BCS ambassadors Adam Gemili and Katarina Johnson-Thompson

Two of Britain’s biggest athletics stars, Adam Gemili and Katarina Johnson-Thompson, have today been announced as ambassadors for this season’s QIPCO British Champions Series.

The superstars of the track will be working closely with their turf counterparts this season and as well as cheering on the likes of Galileo Gold, Churchill and Almanzor, they will also be discovering how the training methods and recovery periods for racehorses compare to their own experiences.

Both are currently in training for the World Championships in London this summer, where Gemili will be looking to add to his the 200m European Champion title he bagged in 2014, whilst Johnson-Thompson will be one of the favourites to land a medal in the heptathlon.

Throughout the Series, the two will help to display the similarities and complexities between the training regimes of elite human and equine athletes.

Gemili said: “I am really looking forward to working with QIPCO British Champions Series and was lucky enough to attend British Champions Day in 2014. I studied sports science at university and have always been fascinated by what, as an athlete, is physically possible so it was really interesting to find out how fast a thoroughbred can run and how long for, and the similarities between my training regime and that of a racehorse.

“I was lucky enough to visit Longholes Pre-training and Rehabilitation centre, and see the incredible facilities used to ensure the horses are at peak fitness and lots of the work there is not dissimilar to what me and my coaches will do as I prepare for the World Championships in August.”

Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who trains in Montpellier, France and recently visited Galileo Gold added: “Meeting half a tonne of pure horsepower in Galileo Gold and speaking to his trainer Hugo Palmer about how to prepare horses for Champions Series races was really interesting. Galileo Gold is an amazing horse who I will certainly be following when he returns in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May.

“I love animals and have always loved horses but now I’ve got a better understanding of how they prepare for competition. Seeing how they apply some of the same training methods as an athlete is fascinating and I’m really looking forward to seeing how the season turns out from now until the final race at QIPCO British Champions Day in October.”

Rod Street, Chief Executive of British Champions Series added: “We are really excited to be working with both Adam and Katarina across QIPCO British Champions Series and hope to bring to life the intricacies of training a thoroughbred using the two athletes who really understand what it takes to even get to the start line.”

The first race of the Series takes place at Newmarket over the distance of 1 mile where the new generation of three-year-olds go head to head in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas for the first Classic of the season.

Spanning five different categories and taking in 10 different racecourses over the course of the summer, they will aim to be at QIPCO British Champions Day come October for the finale with £4.2 million on offer and a chance to be called Champion.

To buy tickets to QIPCO British Champions Day and take advantage of the 25% early bird offer on Queen Anne Enclosure tickets, visit the Ascot Kiosk.