21 November 2009
The world’s best sprinters, Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell are just three of the names unveiled to compete in next year’s inaugural multi-million dollar Diamond League, two fixtures of which will be in the UK at the Aviva British Grand Prix (July 10) and the Aviva London Grand Prix (August 13 & 14).
The IAAF has announced that World and Olympic Champion and record holder Usain Bolt has been contracted alongside Tyson Gay (100m, USA), Asafa Powell (100m JAM), Kenenisa Bekele(10,000m ETH), Yelena Isinbayeva (Pole Vault,RUS), Sanya Richards (400m USA), Blanca Vlasic(High Jump,Cro), Andreas Thorkildsen (Javelin,Nor) and Stephen Hooker (Pole Vault, AUS).
Gateshead International Stadium (July 10) and Crystal Palace (August 13 & 14) are hosting the two Diamond League events, which will see a number of top international and British athletic stars entertaining the British public next summer.
Niels de Vos, Chief Executive of UKA, is delighted with the calibre of the athletes contracted to the Diamond League: "Usain Bolt is the superstar of the sport globally so we hope to have him racing at one or both of our events in 2010. Anyone who saw him run in the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace last year will understand what he brings to the sport as a whole. He is a global ambassador for athletics and with the other outstanding athletes announced today such as Gay, Powell and Isinbayeva - who are no strangers to competing and breaking records in front of British crowds - I am sure there will be a huge demand for tickets for both our Diamond League events here in the UK.”
The IAAF Diamond League is composed of 14 meetings spread across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the USA, and will showcase 32 athletics disciplines which have been carefully distributed amongst the meetings. In each discipline there will be an “IAAF Diamond Race” with points available throughout the season. Winners of each Diamond Race get a Diamond Trophy which will include 4 carats of diamonds but more importantly, they will have showed season long consistency to earn the unchallenged honour of being the World Number 1.
Starting in 2010, the IAAF Diamond League will offer more athletes, more earning opportunities with prize money totalling 6.63 MILLION dollars. The IAAF Diamond League will be discussing central contracts with at least the top two athletes in each discipline to secure exciting ‘head to head’ confrontations between the world’s best on a regular basis throughout the IAAF Diamond League season which in 2010 stretches from mid-May to the end of August.