At the IAAF Calendar Conference, held here in conjunction with the Calendar Conference of the European Athletics Association, the dates of the major events of the international athletics calendar 2001 were today announced by the IAAF President Lamine Diack.
The main sports event of 2001 is, of course, the 8th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, to take place in Edmonton, Canada, from 3-12 August, the other major athletics rendezvous of the year are: the World Indoor Championships, in Lisbon (POR) from 9-11 March; the World Cross Country Championships in Dublin (IRL) on 24-25 March; the second edition of the World Youth Championships in Debrecen, Hungary from 12-15 July and the World Half Marathon Championships in Bristol (GBR) on 7 October.
In 2001, the IAAF Golden League will require athletes to win their selected discipline in five of the seven meetings of the series in order to qualify for a share in the IAAF Golden League Jackpot of 50 kg of gold. Once again, consideration has been given to the need for the athletes to prepare for the World Championships in Canada, taking place in another time zone than the European circuit. Jackpot winners will be required to participate in the IAAF Grand Prix Final, taking place in Melbourne, Australia on 9 September, in order to collect their share in the Jackpot.
The agreed dates for the IAAF Golden League series in 2001 are: Rome 29 June, Paris 6 July, Oslo 13 July and Monte Carlo on the 20th. There will be a break during the World Championships and the series starts again in Zurich on 17 August, followed by Brussels on 24 and finally, Berlin on 31 August.
Athletes will contest the following Golden League disciplines:
Men: 100, 800, 1500, 3000, 110 metre hurdles, 3000 metre steeplechase, long jump and javelin
Women: 100, 800, 1500, 3000, 400 hurdles and the high jump.
During the press conference, which was for the first time ever held jointly with the European Athletics Association, in the person of its president Mr Hansjörg Wirz, Mr Diack also underlined the major growth in the television audience for the IAAF Golden League since its inception in 1998.
In the year 2000, the Golden League was broadcast to 109 territories, compared with 77 in 1998 and 102 in 1999. The total minutes aired were 87,907: an increase of 41 percent compared to last year and 114 percent compared to 1998.
Still more importantly is the audience rating achieved in the key markets. This year there was a total of nearly 54 million viewers in the major European countries, Japan and the USA – an increase of 27 percent over 1999 and 44 percent better than in 1998.