In a move that will shake up the professional level of the global sport of athletics, Alfons Juck provides us with information on a dynamic new series of events which will be presented to IAAF President Lamine Diack over the next two days…part of the program will guarantee the commitment of several of the global stars: Bolt, Robles, Isinbayeva, Bekele.
Global stars, like Yelena Isinbayeva would be required to compete in six of the twelve Diamond meetings! Photo by Photorun.net.
EME NEWS (MAR 1, 2009) FLASH
New Meeting Series â€“ Diamond League
LONDON (GBR): British media are informing about new world league of athletics, a new concept for one day meetings. Since last year IAAF has been working on new and expanded Golden League with help of investors. But now a new concept appears. Two meetings in Monaco, Sunday and Monday, will determine the extent of the biggest shake-up in athletics history. Writes The Observer. Sebastian Coe and his fellow vice-presidents of the IAAF will sit down with the body’s president, Lamine Diack, today to discuss plans for the proposed Diamond League, a global series of 12 meetings, running from May to September in three continents from next year. Diack is likely to be offered the chairmanship of the new league and is said to be accepting of the need for reform. The idea came from a group of top athletics promoters headed by Patrick Magyar, director of the Weltklasse ZÃ¼rich meeting and a sports marketing guru, who has led negotiations between the league promoters and the IAAF. Magyar declined to make an official comment on the negotiations, but confirmed that an announcement from the IAAF was expected this week. The promoters are willing to work with the ruling body and gain their sanction rather than go their own way by revamping the existing Golden League events in Europe. The promoters and the IAAF will meet on Monday to thrash out details of structure, sponsorship, broadcasting, prize money, and athlete appearances. Weltklasse of Zurich, the premier event which is organised by Magyar also announced a press conference for Monday. Under the central contracts plan, up to 10 of the world’s biggest names of track and field will be asked to commit to appearing in at least six of the 12 events: eight in Europe, with two each in Asia and the United States. England is expected to host two of the meetings, one in London and the other in Birmingham, though the list of venues is on the agenda for tomorrow. In addition to Bolt and Powell, athletes likely to be offered contracts include the female World Athlete of the Year 2008 and serial record breaker, Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, Cuba’s 110metre hurdles world record holder and Olympic champion, Dayron Robles and Ethiopian distance supremo Kenenisa Bekele. The new concept could be in place starting in 2010. On the other hand many of the top one day meetings organisers have not been involved in the discussions. One of the challenges will be convincing the elite athletes to sign central contracts. An adviser to one world record holder told The Observer that as long as a contract was for only six of the 12 races his client would be happy to sign it. British interests are represented at the negotiating table in Monaco by Ian Stewart, the meetings director for all televised athletics in this country, and an executive of UK Athletics. A key issue for Britain will be to avoid jeopardising current deals with the BBC and UK Athletics’ main sponsor, Aviva. The BBC has a long-term contract with the London grand prix meet at Crystal Palace, which is expected to become part of the Diamond League. Details of how that contract will be renegotiated into the new league are yet to be confirmed. The Diamond League is just one part of a strategy that could herald a new era in the structural organisation of athletics. All meetings â€“ from grand prix to one-off events â€“ could be brought under one organisational umbrella with the aim of creating a unified calendar for the sport. An IAAF spokesman confirmed: “There are a number of exciting ideas that are being explored and we are looking at ways of making athletics more attractive, with a real global reach. But there are important details to iron out and it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.” The recommendations are set to go before a council meeting of the IAAF in Berlin on March 21-22.
Special thanks to Alfons Juck, EME News.
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