Rabat, Morocco have been added as a new host city for the prestigious IAAF Diamond League global series of one-day athletics meetings, the General Assembly of the Diamond League meeting decided in Zurich, Switzerland on Wednesday.
The Meeting International Mohammed VI, which is annually held in the Moroccan capital’s Complexe Prince Moulay Abdellah, replaces New York, USA with immediate effect for the 2016 season.
Launched in March 2009, the [link id="450" tax="post_tag" text="IAAF Diamond League"] – which features the world´s best athletes competing across 32 individual track and field disciplines – has for its first six competition seasons (2010-2015) included host cities in Asia, Europe, and North America.
With the addition of Rabat, [link id="817" tax="category" text="Morocco"], the series of 14 meetings – which annually takes place from May to September – now includes a fourth continent, [link id="4" tax="category" text="Africa"].
Rabat first applied for membership of the IAAF Diamond League in 2014 and has since undergone a rigorous evaluation process to confirm its organisation, facilities and services were of a high enough standard for inclusion into athletics’ top-tier international invitational circuit.
[link id="811" tax="post_tag" text="Sebastian Coe"], [link id="175" tax="post_tag" text="IAAF "]President and Chairman of Diamond League AG, commented: "We are pleased to be able to take our premier athletics series into a new continental area.
"The IAAF Diamond League offers the best athletics entertainment to the world outside of the IAAF World Championships and the Olympic Games. Broadcast annually in more than 120 countries, the series provides athletics with its next most prominent global shop window."
"We thank New York for contributing to this great project during the past six seasons and know that they will continue to support athletics in the future. We proudly welcome the inclusion of Rabat," Sebastian Coe added.
Mark Wetmore, Meeting Director New York, commented: "It’s been a great run on Randall’s Island, New York, and now we’re looking ahead to producing a new event.
"As we look forward, we believe that changing our focus to a street meet is one way to make the event attractive to a younger audience."
Abdeslam Ahizoune, FRMA President / Meeting Director Rabat, commented: “This is a proud moment for our country’s athletics community and for the international reputation of Moroccan sport in general.
"The inclusion of our meeting in the IAAF Diamond League is a clear affirmation of the ability of our country to deliver the highest international standard sports product," Ahizoune added.
IAAF Diamond League 2016 calendar
- 6 May – Doha, QAT
- 14 May – Shanghai, CHN
- 22 May – Rabat, MAR
- 28 May – Eugene, USA
- 2 Jun – Rome, ITA
- 5 Jun – Birmingham, GBR
- 9 Jun – Oslo, NOR
- 16 Jun – Stockholm, SWE
- 15 Jul – Monaco, MON
- 22-23 Jul – London, GBR
- 25 Aug – Lausanne, SUI
- 27 Aug – Paris, FRA
- 1 Sep – Zurich, SUI
- 9 Sep – Brussels, BEL