Isinbayeva, Bolt and Bekele head Weltklasse Zürich’s star cast
Zürich, Switzerland - Weltklasse Zürich 2009, the penultimate meeting of the 2009 ÅF Golden League, will offer yet another magnificent athletics spectacle on Friday 28 August.
Reigning Olympic champions and World record holders Yelena Isinbayeva, Usain Bolt, and Kenenisa Bekele have all already signed up for the meeting. Bolt will run the 100m and Bekele the 5000m at the meeting, and of course Isinbayeva will be pole vaulting!
The three athletes combined, hold as many as six outdoor World records and eight Olympic titles. “Between 2004 and 2008, we always had the strongest fields in the world, and it goes without saying that we are aiming at defending this position this year,” underlined Meeting Director Patrick K. Magyar.
Numerous stars will be signed up in the months to come. By tradition, Weltklasse Zürich will confirm most of the participants after the beginning of the outdoor season. As a result, the very best athletes will compete in the 16 disciplines of the meeting’s programme of events.
The Nations’ Challenge, the U23 match among eight teams that was successfully introduced last year, will once again provide the prelude to the main programme. Switzerland will try hard to defend its title from last year. Finally, the Zurich Trophy, a men’s 4x100m relay, will be staged for the third time.
But for once, the Zürich Trophy will not mark the final event of the evening, however. This honour will be granted to the legendary wheelchair athlete Heinz Frei’s farewell from track. The race will be a very special one, with female competitors covering a 2600m race distance and male athletes competing on 3000m.
Tickets on sale from Tuesday 5 May
Preparations for the 2009 edition of Weltklasse Zürich are well under way, not only as far as the athletes’ engagements are concerned.
The Weltklasse Zürich promoters have thoroughly analysed the second meeting in the new Letzigrund Stadium of last year. “Compared to 2007, we were able to implement improvements in nearly every area, as audience polls we carried out immediately after the event confirm,” explained Magyar. 73% of the audience stated that they planned to attend the meeting again. The Zurich organisers take these results as a good omen for the 2009 ticket sale that starts tomorrow (Tuesday, 5 May, 9 a.m.).
In 2009, no fundamental changes are planned: “We will continue to pursue our goals, and aim at improving individual aspects,” Magyar explained. “We are closely working with our timing partner Omega/Swiss Timing to provide results even faster, for instance.” In addition, the closing ceremony will be a very special highlight.
IAAF Diamond League
More dramatic changes will take place in 2010, when the current Golden League will be replaced by the newly created, much broader IAAF Diamond League. Weltklasse Zürich will then gain even further significance, as it will host one of two finals of the series. “We are working with the IAAF and our colleague meeting organizers on the trend-setting new series,” said Patrick K. Magyar.
Organisers for the IAAF