Weltklasse Zurich organisers announce ‘Inspiration Games’ exhibition event for July 9
Sprinters Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Allyson Felix and Mujinga Kambundji are among the athletes set for Weltklasse Zurich’s Inspiration Games exhibition event taking place on July 9.
While the traditional event, usually a Diamond League final, cannot take place due to the coronavirus pandemic, the cross-continent meeting will involve 30 athletes competing in eight disciplines across seven stadiums.
Athletes will compete in teams, with a Europe squad going up against teams from the USA and the rest of the world.
In the 150m, Olympic 400m champion and 200m Diamond League winner Miller-Uibo of Bahamas will race in Miramar, Florida, against USA’s six-time Olympic gold medallist Felix in Walnut, California, and Switzerland’s world bronze medallist Kambundji in Zurich.
“Weltklasse Zurich always holds such a special place in my heart so it’s unfortunate that there will be no Wanda Diamond League final there this year, but of course safety is the top priority,” said Felix.
“This new format will hopefully give the fans something fun to look forward to it during a time that has been really difficult for everyone.”
Other athletes set to compete include Dalilah Muhammad and Léa Sprunger in a 300m hurdles, Katerina Stefanidi and Sandi Morris in the pole vault, Andre De Grasse plus Omar McLeod and Jimmy Vicaut in a 100 yards clash, Noah Lyles and Alex Wilson in the 200m and Christian Taylor against Omar Craddock and Pedro Pablo Pichardo in the triple jump.
SRG SSR will produce a special 90-minute broadcast to simultaneously show each event, with the main programme to be held from 8pm-9.30pm (CET).
“To simultaneously broadcast three different venues in each discipline will certainly be a technical challenge,” said SRG SSR’s national coordinator, Karin Nussbaumer.
“Time delays will have to be corrected so that everything is synchronised for the viewer.”
World Athletics president Seb Coe said: “We have seen some inspiring and creative initiatives across our sport during this pandemic to keep athletics front of mind and to motivate people to either try our sport or continue to participate in it.
“What is particularly encouraging are the numbers of people who have done more exercise, particularly running and walking, during the various lockdown periods in their countries and we want our athletes, our events and initiatives like the Weltklasse Zurich Inspiration Series to motivate all these people to continue to work on their health and their fitness and become a part of our great sport.”