Qatar, May 8, 2014: The next five years of the IAAF Diamond League are guaranteed following a new agreement announced by IAAF President Lamine Diack in Doha, Qatar, on Thursday (8).
“The IAAF Diamond League is a valuable asset for the IAAF,” President Diack told the traditional pre-meeting press conference that was being streamed live via the internet for the first time and so reached a global audience.
The official signing took place during a special General Assembly of the Diamond League which was held recently in Zurich.
“Therefore I am delighted to announce that the IAAF has agreed a new contract with our partners which will ensure the IAAF’s continued support of the series to at least 2019,” he added ahead of the start of the 2014 series in Doha on Friday.
The President said that since the Diamond League was established in 2010, with the first meeting having being in Doha, it had, “established itself in the hearts and minds of sports fans worldwide”.
The IAAF Diamond League encompasses 14 meetings in Asia, the Middle East and the United States, as well as Europe.
“Our vision in 2009 was to create a new, exciting product for an athletics top-tier invitational circuit,” he said.
“While there remain many challenges ahead, the IAAF firmly believes that we have made an exceptionally good start in the first four years.
“The IAAF Diamond League offers the best of athletics entertainment outside the World Championships and Olympic Games.
“The worldwide TV audience for the IAAF Diamond League is far greater than the previous Golden League,” he added, referring to the IAAFs former top-tier one-day circuit which existed from 1998 to 2009.
“In 2013, the 14-meeting series attracted an increased global TV audience with 265 million viewers across 135 countries.
“With the launch of the IAAF Diamond League App, and extensive use of social media to attract the younger sports fans, we are confident that the series will continue to grow.”
Turning his attention to the forthcoming meeting in Doha on Friday, the President commented: “This is the fifth consecutive year I personally have visited Doha to support the start of the IAAF Diamond League.
“Doha 2014 looks set to be the greatest ever. Overall, the Doha entry lists include more than 20 individual champions and 50 global medallists from the World Championships or Olympic Games.”
His Excellency Dahlan Al Hamad, President of the Qatar Athletics Federation, commented: “’The best of athletics happens in Doha’ – that is our motto and our goal for the 2014 edition, and I am absolutely convinced that we will honour our commitment.
“We have gained valuable experience in hosting large-scale athletics events with a global impact, and this is why we are bidding for the 2019 World Championships.”
Al Hamad added: “Tomorrow is a big day for athletics in Qatar. The Qatari Athletics Federation is very happy and proud to launch the fifth edition of the Diamond League meeting here in Doha.” —- Mike Rowbottom for the IAAF