Kendra Harrison in action at the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 (© AFP / Getty Images)
An exciting Ryder Cup-style match between Europe and the United States will be staged at the Dinamo Stadium in Minsk, Belarus, on 9-10 September ahead of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019.
The agreement has been signed between European Athletics and USA Track & Field, and European Athletics has started operational work with the Belarus Athletics Federation ahead of the event.
“We are proud to announce there will be a match for the first time since the 1960s,” said European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen. “We are going to include every track discipline up to the 3000m for men and women (excluding 4x400m). We will have all the throws, jumps and a 4x100m relay.
“There will also be mixed medley relay because there will be a mixed 4x400m on the programme at the Olympics in Tokyo 2020. There will be four athletes from each continent in every event competing for prize money.”
“We welcome the opportunity for our athletes to compete in a team match leading up to the 2019 World Championships,” said USATF CEO Max Siegel. “We look forward to visiting Belarus for this great competition.”
The four divisions of the 2019 European Athletics Team Championships from 9-11 August will act as the qualifying event for the match and at least 10 Belarusian athletes are expected to represent Europe on home soil in Minsk.
Belarus has staged a number of high-quality and well-organised major athletics events in recent years. Hansen was highly impressed with all aspects of the European 10,000m Cup in Minsk in June 2017, while the Minsk Half Marathon is one of Europe’s fastest growing road races with 35,000 runners taking part this year. Next year’s race will be held on the same weekend as the Europe vs United States match.
The match will take place in the newly renovated Dinamo Stadium, which was reopened in June 2018 and has the capacity to hold 22,000 spectators.
Athletics will also form part of the European Games in Minsk next year, with a team competition taking place on 23-28 June.
EA for the IAAF