14 OCT 1999 General News

IAAF President Dr Primo Nebiolo announces athletics calendar

IAAF President Dr Primo Nebiolo announces athletics calendar
IAAF to introduce world ranking system in year 2000

15 October 1999 - Funchal  – Portugal – The IAAF President Dr Primo Nebiolo today gave his traditional press conference, following the 7th IAAF World Calendar Conference here.

During the course of the conference, Dr Nebiolo made the following statements: "Planning the calendar of our sport is becoming more and more difficult with each year that passes. And this is yet another sign of the growth of the athletics movement: on the one hand there are more and more requests to organise meetings, on the other, unfortunately, there is so far no way to increase the number of days in the year.

"So we have to sort out some problems. But they are problems of abundance, and consequently positive problems, even if, at certain times of the year, the number of important events that coincide aggravates these problems. Next year in particular is an Olympic year, with the Games scheduled for the second half of September.

"In any event, the IAAF Golden League 2000 will start on 30th June, with the second meeting of the series scheduled on 7 July. At present we have not reached a decision on which of these dates will be attributed to Paris and which to Rome. If agreement has not been reached before, the decision will be made by the IAAF Council at its November meeting. On 28 July, the Golden League will move north, to Oslo and from there on 11 August to Zurich, 18 August to Monte Carlo and on 25th to Brussels. The last meeting of the Golden League 2000 will be held in Berlin on 1 September. All of the Golden League 2000 meetings will take place on a Friday so as to become a regular appointment for television viewers.

"The success of the IAAF Golden League in 1999 has exceeded all of our expectations and this is demonstrated by the extraordinary growth in the TV ratings. This year’s series was viewed in 127 territories for a total of 61,995 minutes of broadcast (well over a thousand hours) and attracted more than 827 million TV viewers.

"This represents an increase of 172% over the 304 million viewers recorded for the 1998 edition."

"The 2000 season will end in Qatar, with the Grand Prix Final, in Doha on 4 October – just a few days after the end of the Olympics. This decision has yet to be approved by Council, but I am confident that the Council will approve this exciting proposal in November.

I believe that this will be a great ending, with many of the Sydney medallists attending. This new commitment on the part of Qatar is also especially symbolic. It symbolises the universal value of athletics and its ability to unite the youth of the world, regardless of religious beliefs, ethnicity or sex."

Dr Nebiolo also announced the IAAF’s intention to introduce a world ranking system for athletes in experimental form in time for the 2000 athletics season. The technical details of this project are currently being studied and it is expected to finalise the system in time for the IAAF Council meeting in November.