raising bar in athletics

A new global series of athletics meetings known as the Diamond League will be launched next year, the IAAF said yesterday.

A new global series of athletics meetings known as the Diamond League will be launched next year, the IAAF said yesterday.

Twelve meetings in Europe, the United States and China are under contract for the series, which will replace the six-city Europe-only Golden League and offer more head-to-head competition between rival athletes.

Three more meetings are on standby, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said in a statement.

"The chances of Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay all meeting in seven 100m races in the Diamond League are very unlikely," Mark Wetmore, organiser of the New York meeting and Gay's agent, said.

"But the series will give fans the opportunity for more competition among all lead athletes."

Confirmed for the series are London plus one other British meeting, Lausanne, Oslo, Stockholm, Monaco, Paris, Brussels, Zurich, the US cities of New York and Eugene, Oregon, and a meeting in China, in Beijing or Shanghai. Berlin, Rome and Doha could be added.

In each of the 32 events, athletes with the most points at the end of the series will be awarded a four-carat diamond worth approximately $80000, the IAAF said. - Reuters

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