Russia hopes to host IAAF Diamond League meet

Country’s sports minister Vitaly Mutko voices plans to bid for major events including a meeting in the Diamond League series

Posted on December 27, 2013 by
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Luzhniki Stadium Moscow 2013 (Mark Shearman)

Russia is considering bidding to host an IAAF Diamond League meeting and the 2016 IAAF World Junior Championships, the country’s sports minister Vitaly Mutko has revealed.

Following Moscow’s hosting of the IAAF World Championships this summer, the Luzhniki Stadium – venue for those championships – could be where the Diamond League meeting would be held.

At a press conference in the Russian capital Mutko said: “I agree that we need to consolidate the results of the IAAF World Championships held in Moscow this summer and for this we need to get a Diamond League stage to Moscow but this is not that easy.

“If we succeed and get the right to organise the Diamond League competition in Moscow, we can think about the reconstructed Luzhniki Stadium as the competition venue.”

He added: “Now we are also discussing the application to stage the IAAF World Junior Championships 2016.”

Usain Bolt was among those to have commented on the thin crowds at the Luzhniki Stadium for the World Championships earlier this year. At a press conference, the Jamaican sprinter said he’d give the championships a score of seven out of ten, commenting: “It’s been a different championship, but it’s not been the best.

“It got better over the days. More people got more relaxed. More people started smiling. There were more people in the stands. It picked up at the end, but at start it wasn’t as good.”

Reacting to the criticism of the crowds, organisers publicised figures which showed the number of spectators in the eight evening sessions – 268,548 – was almost 7000 more than Daegu in 2011. “Aside football, no other Olympic sport can attract that number of stadium spectators to its World Championships,” an IAAF release said.

Taking place annually, the Diamond League series will again feature 14 events in 2014, with Britain one of three countries to be hosting two events.

The World Junior Championships are held biannually, with Barcelona the last to have hosted the event. The next will be held in Eugene in the USA in 2014.

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