Queen urges sporting royalty to 'serve as an inspiration' at World Championships

Updated: 

The Queen has praised athletes gathered in London for the World Championships telling the global sporting figures their efforts "will serve as an inspiration to people across the world".

The Duke of York read the Queen's words at the opening ceremony of the 10-day event that will see Sir Mo Farah and Usain Bolt begin their bid for track glory at the London Stadium.

The venue for the IAAF World Championships is the same arena the Queen famously "parachuted" into during her appearance in the opening ceremony for the London Olympics in 2012.

Reading the Queen's message Andrew said: "I was delighted to open the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in this very stadium and I know it holds extraordinary memories for competitors and spectators alike.

"Sport has a way of uniting the world and reminds us what amazing things can be achieved when people come together to celebrate the very best of human endeavour.

"I have no doubt that more wonderful memories will be created over the next 10 days, and that the performances beginning tonight will serve as an inspiration to people across the world.

"To the athletes, the officials, the volunteers and supporters, the spectators in the stadium and indeed to the millions watching around the world, I send my sincere good wishes for a happy, exciting and hugely successful 2017 IAAF World Championships.

"Good luck to you all."

Four-time Olympic champion Sir Mo is aiming to defend his 10,000 metre and 5,000 metre titles for a second time and runs in the 10,000m final tonight.

He will run his last track race at the Diamond League final in Zurich this month before focusing on the marathon while Bolt will retire following the World Championships.

Eight-time Olympic champion Bolt also runs in the 100 metre heats this evening ahead of Saturday's semi-final and final with the latter primed to be his last global individual race.