News18 Jul 2003


World Athletics Final – a new concept based on a tradition of quality

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IAAF President Lamine Diack - June 2003, Stade Louis 11, Monaco, the venue for the IAAF World Athletics Final (© Getty Images)

MonteCarloThe inaugural IAAF World Athletics Final will take place in Monaco’s Stade Louis II on the weekend of Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 September this year, offering a brand new Athletics concept to replace the annual Grand Prix Final which had previously concluded each summer season.

The IAAF World Athletics Final in Monaco will offer a programme of 33 disciplines spread across two days of competition with qualification decided by the individual Event Ranking positions of athletes in the IAAF World Rankings, as of 7th September.

Taking place just 2 weeks after the IAAF World Championships in Paris, the first WAF is being dubbed “La Revanche des Champions” – (Revenge of Champions) since all competitors are likely to be in peak form and anxious to prove a point.

IAAF General Secretary, Istvan Gyulai –

“The World Athletics Final is very much the World championships over two days. The central aspect of the old Grand Prix Final was that events alternated in and out of the schedule, though of course some of the more popular events were nearly always in the programme. The World Athletics Final is annually a more inclusive concept representing a far wider range of events each year."

"Personally I am both sad and happy in terms of the Hammer. For technical reasons the men's and women's Hammer cannot take place within the Monaco stadium which is sad but of course I also happy that it will be held in the Mecca of Hammer throwing (Sunday 7 September) in Szombathely, Hungary, and television pictures of it will be broadcast in Monaco, so it will also be a part of the main final too."

"I look forward with great interest to how the IAAF World Rankings system will work and I expect a lot from it. The qualification is straightforward with those athletes ranked in the top 7 positions (11 positions for races of 1500m and over) qualifying for the World Athletics Final. We are most confident in the new concept but as six performances in a 365 day period are required to be ranked, as a precautionary measure the IAAF has reserved the right to invite 1 wild card athlete per event in a maximum of 5 of the 33 events which will take place in Monaco."

“Of course as with any new competition, particularly one staged at such a high level, we wonder how things will turn out and this feeling is intensified as the annual Gala will be staged just a couple of hours after the Final. However, these are quite natural feelings of anticipation. When you are in the theatre the first night of any spectacular premier is always filled with nervous excitement.”

Meeting Director, Jean-Pierre Schoebel –

“Monaco is the ideal venue for the World Athletics Final combining the glamour of the Principality with the glorious Athletics tradition of the Herculis meeting, that was a proud member of the IAAF Golden League circuit in recent years. Sunshine is of course guaranteed, and the stadium is perfectly configured for Athletics so the crowd gets really close to the action, and that combination creates a great atmosphere.”

“I hold many fond memories of previous action in the Monaco stadium but the two world records (4x100m, Santa Monica, 37.79, 1991; 3000m, Noureddine Morceli, 7:25.11 1994) of course stand out. So does the year of 1998 when nine women ran under 4 minutes for the 1500m, what a wonderful sight to see and such a feeling, I was like a child at Christmas being showered with many wonderful presents all at once.”

“The two day format of the World Athletics Final encompassing 33 events, while missing the walks, Hammers, Multi-events and the Marathon, will quite rightly be a ‘World Championships in two days’.”

IAAF

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