15 September 1999 - Monte Carlo Monaco Following meetings between technical officials from the IAAF and the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) here in recent days, the IAAF established, in agreement with SOCOG, the definitive programme for the athletics competitions at the Sydney Olympic Games.
Commenting on the newly agreed schedule, the IAAF President Primo Nebiolo said "This schedule protects the rights of the athletes to compete at the highest level without incurring any risks to their health, while offering spectators a balanced distribution of finals throughout the nine days of competition. We all feel this is an excellent programme that will be greatly appreciated by the public inside and outside Australia."
In drawing up the programme, the IAAF and SOCOG agreed to follow the principle of allowing at least one rest day between the heats and finals of races exceeding 800m and in the 400m hurdles. A rest day has also been incorporated between the qualification rounds and finals of jumping events.
The programme makes it possible for men and women to take part in the 100m and 200m; 200m and 400m; 5000m and 10,000m. More particularly, women will be able to double in the 800 and 1500 and American star Marion Jones, who has often expressed this intention will be able to compete in three individual events (100, 200 and long jump) and in both relays (4x100 and 4x400).
One of the finals most eagerly anticipated by the Australian public - hoping to see their two-time World Champion Cathy Freeman will be the womens 400m. Following a request by SOCOG, the IAAF agreed that the final will take place on the afternoon of 25 September and will be immediately followed by the mens 400m.
The athletics programme of the Sydney Olympics will start on the morning of 22 September 2000, will incorporate a rest day on Tuesday 26 September and will end on 1 October, the day of the Closing Ceremony, with the mens marathon. The womens marathon will be held on Sunday 24 September, starting at 10:00 a.m. local time.