3 Mar 2009

Diamond League series to launch next year

6:00 am on 3 March 2009

A new series of athletics meetings known as the Diamond League will be launched next year in a bid to offer more head-to-head competition and expand the sport globally.

But the organiser of the New York meeting and the American sprinter Tyson Gay's agent says spectators should not expect a showdown between 100 metres record holder Usain Bolt, former holder Asafa Powell and the world champion Tyson Gay every time the race is held

Mark Wetmore says the chances of Bolt, Powell and Gay meeting in each 100 metre race in the League are very unlikely.

The International Association of Athletics Federations says 12 meetings in Europe, the United States and China are under contract for the series, which will replace the six-city Europe-only Golden League. Three more meetings are on standby.

The IAAF president Lamine Diack hopes top athletes will meet three or four times annually in addition to the Olympics or world championships.