IAAF Diamond League expands into a fourth continent: Africa

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Well, this morning at 4 am, I woke up and saw a text from a writer friends at one of the big media groups. I then, saw the IAAF release noted below and wondered, "What meet did they take off the schedule?"

I was quite surprised and saddened, in reading the entire release, that the adidas GP will move from being a Diamond League event, one of two in North America into something new on the streets of New York City.

Now, I am all for change, but the adidas Grand Prix offered the city of New York, the media capital of the world, a fine track meet. While that does not even suggest how much money it has taken to put on such a quality meet in the Big Apple, from bringing in the best javelin throwers into NYC to comply with DL standards, to the increased hotel prices, meal prices and travel times to put on an event in New York.

I thank adidas and Global Athletics for providing us the meet at Icahn Stadium for the past decade. Having had two Diamond League meets in the US was great, as North American track fans had DL meets on each side of the country.

Stay tuned on further developments.

IAAF DIAMOND LEAGUE EXPANDS INTO A FOURTH CONTINENT: AFRICA

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© IAAF

The General Assembly of the Diamond League meeting yesterday in Zurich, Switzerland has decided to include Rabat, Morocco as a new host city for the prestigious global series of one-day athletics meetings.

The Meeting International Mohammed VI, which is annually held in the Moroccan capital's Complexe Prince Moulay Abdellah, replaces New York, USA with immediate effect for the 2016 season.

Launched in March 2009, the IAAF Diamond League - which features the world´s best athletes competing across 32 individual track and field disciplines - has for its first six competition seasons (2010-2015) included host cities in Asia, Europe, and North America. With the addition of Rabat, the series of 14 meetings - which annually takes place from May to September - now includes a fourth continent, Africa.

Rabat first applied for membership of the IAAF Diamond League in 2014 and has since undergone a rigorous evaluation process to confirm its organisation, facilities and services were of a high enough standard for inclusion into athletics' top-tier international invitational circuit.

Sebastian Coe, IAAF President and Chairman of Diamond League AG, commented: "We are pleased to be able to take our premier athletics series into a new continental area. The IAAF Diamond League offers the best athletics entertainment to the world outside of the IAAF World Championships and the Olympic Games. Broadcast annually in more than 120 countries, the series provides athletics with its next most prominent global shop window. We thank New York for contributing to this great project during the past six seasons and know that they will continue to support athletics in the future. We proudly welcome the inclusion of Rabat."

Mark Wetmore, Meeting Director New York, commented: "It's been a great run on Randall's Island, New York, and now we're looking ahead to producing a new event. As we look forward, we believe that changing our focus to a street meet is one way to make the event attractive to a younger audience."

Abdeslam Ahizoune, FRMA President / Meeting Director Rabat, commented: "This is a proud moment for our country's athletics community and for the international reputation of Moroccan sport in general. The inclusion of our meeting in the IAAF Diamond League is a clear affirmation of the ability of our country to deliver the highest international standard sports product."

2016 IAAF Diamond League calendar
6 May - Doha, QAT
14 May - Shanghai, CHN
22 May - Rabat, MAR
28 May - Eugene, USA
2 Jun - Rome, ITA
5 Jun - Birmingham, GBR
9 Jun - Oslo, NOR
16 Jun - Stockholm, SWE
15 Jul - Monaco, MON
22-23 Jul - London, GBR
25 Aug - Lausanne, SUI
27 Aug - Paris, FRA
1 Sep - Zurich, SUI
9 Sep - Brussels, BEL

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