The IAAF announced on Monday that the Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., and Reebok Grand Prix in New York City will be part of a prestigious new circuit of elite track meets known as the "IAAF Diamond League", starting in 2010.
Replacing the current ÅF Golden League of six meets, the Diamond League will feature at least 12 globally televised meets on four continents, giving the IAAF a series that extends beyond the European confines of the current Golden League, into the United States, Asia and the Middle East.
The Diamond League also will expand the number of events contested in the IAAF's showcase series, featuring 32 different event disciplines. All 32 events will have equal prize money, with each meet doling out $416,000. Top stars will be signed to contracts to compete in the series.
Long part of USATF's Visa Championship Series, the Nike Prefontaine Classic and Reebok Grand Prix already were recognized as two of the world's top meets and had IAAF Grand Prix I status. Many of the world's biggest stars have competed recently in Eugene and/or New York, from American sprinters, hurdlers and shot putters to African distance runners; Jamaican sprinters to Chinese hurdlers.
"We applaud the IAAF for expanding the reach of its showcase series," said USATF CEO Doug Logan. "Bringing the Diamond League to our shores clearly demonstrates the IAAF's commitment to growing the sport in the United States. It is an exciting development for all track fans that the members of the World's #1 Team will be featured in top-flight international competition in this country's two most celebrated meets. We look forward to welcoming even more of the world's finest track athletes to our domestic competitions."
Athletes will score points in their events at each meet in the series. The overall top point-winning athlete in each event will win the "IAAF Diamond Race" and be awarded a 4-carat diamond, worth approximately $80,000.
Meets currently planned for the 2012 Diamond Legue are the Aviva London Grand Prix; Aviva British Grand Prix; Athletissima Lausanne; Bislett Games Oslo; DN Galan Stockholm; Herculis Monaco; Meeting Areva Paris St-Denis; Memorial Van Damme Brussels; Prefontaine Classic Eugene; Reebok Grand Prix New York; China Golden Grand Prix; Weltklasse Zurich; DKB ISTAF Berlin; Golden Gala Rome, Qatar Athletics Super Grand Prix in Doha. The IAAF noted that contracts with Berlin, Rome and Doha have yet to be signed.
For more information on the IAAF Diamond League, visit .
About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.
For more information on USATF, visit USATF.org.