London to Host Innovative New Athletics Meet

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Enterprise Television- London to Host Innovative New Athletics Meet

British Athletics on Monday launched a new event for the world’s top-eight track and field nations which aims to satisfy the ongoing drive for innovation in the sport.

The Athletics World Cup London 2018 will be held on July 14-15 at London Stadium, venue of last year’s World Para Athletics and World Athletics Championships.

The competition format features all field and track events up to and including the 1500m and will star the world’s eight leading athletics nations over those disciplines – USA, Great Britain & Northern Ireland, Poland, China, Germany, France, Jamaica and South Africa.

Each nation will be competing for a $2m (€1.64m) prize pot over two evening sessions of athletics. The format will see one man and one woman from each nation selected in each event in an all-straight final template.

To mark 100 years since women were given the right to vote in the UK, the first edition of the event will see all nations select a female athlete as team captain. The World Cup will effectively replace ‘The Meet’, details of which were first disclosed in August following the World Athletics Championships.

British Athletics and USA Track & Field (USATF) had joined forces for the new event that was set to bring together two of the sport’s strongest nations at London Stadium on July 21. UK Athletics Chief Executive, Niels de Vos told the BBC that the prize money for the World Cup – largely funded through ticket sales – would be split between teams with $450,000 going to the winners, down to $100,000 for eighth place.

“If you were to finish eighth and it was divided by people in your team, that would still be roughly twice what you would get in a Diamond League event, so it will be attractive to the athletes and the federations,” De Vos said. The Meet concept could reportedly be resurrected for 2019.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has been seeking to encourage the development of innovative new events and president Sebastian Coe backed the World Cup proposal.

He said in a statement: “This is one of the exciting innovative events we are seeing in our sport and our thanks go to British Athletics and the Mayor of London for creating it and hosting it.  We have eight lanes, eight top nations, eight teams and a host of world class athletes lining up in each event to win the trophy and prize pot. This will be a fast-paced and exhilarating experience for athletes and fans.”