Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, will compete at the Weltklasse in Zurich, the first of two IAAF Diamond League finals. And this year’s meeting on 28 August will take place on a newly-laid track at the Letzigrund Stadium.
“I always look forward to running in Zurich,” said the six-time Olympic champion and triple world record-holder. “The event is always extremely well organised. The atmosphere at Letzigrund Stadium is unique, and the crowd is world-class.”
This will be Bolt’s seventh appearance in Zurich. He finished second in the under-23 200m on his debut in 2006 and then finished second again in the main 200m one year later. In 2008 and 2009 he moved down to the 100m, winning on both occasions, and then in 2012 he set a meeting record of 19.66 in the 200m. He notched up another 100m victory in Zurich last year, winning in 9.90.
With the new surface at the Letzigrund Stadium, hopes are high that Bolt will treat the fans to a fast performance. The existing track will not be replaced but retopped on 12 June with a new surface, developed by Swiss company CONICA.
Extensive tests conducted by the Institute of Biomechanics and Orthopaedics of the German Sport University Cologne have confirmed the benefits of the new system. “The new surface provides athletes with better stability of the big toes, ankles, and in particular of their knees,” said Professor Gert-Peter Brüggemann, who led the studies. “This effect results in a smaller loss of energy in these joints, and therefore in less oscillation of the body’s centre of gravity. The new surface of the track therefore creates even better conditions for fast times.”
Patrick Magyar, the Weltklasse meeting director, is optimistic that the new track surface will contribute to an even more thrilling IAAF Diamond League final. “We have had the best line-up in the world for 11 years in a row. The new surface is another big step in the meeting’s constant efforts to create the best possible conditions for the best athletes in the world.”
Tickets for Weltklasse will go on sale tomorrow.
Organisers for the IAAF
2014 IAAF Diamond League calendar
Doha, QAT – 9 May
Shanghai, CHN – 18 May
Eugene, USA – 31 May
Rome, ITA – 5 Jun
Oslo, NOR – 11 Jun
New York, USA – 14 Jun
Lausanne, SUI – 3 Jul
Paris, FRA – 5 Jul
Glasgow, GBR – 11-12 Jul
Monaco, MON – 18 Jul
Stockholm, SWE – 21 Aug
Birmingham, GBR – 24 Aug
Zurich, SUI – 28 Aug
Brussels, BEL – 5 Sep