The top stars of international athletics were on display this evening at the Fairmont Hotel, Monaco, to give their backing to the IAAF Diamond League series.
The organisers of the new global track and field circuit also announced those same athletes as its Ambassadors and as contracted participants for 2010 IDL events.
IAAF Diamond League Ambassadors are Kenenisa Bekele, Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay, Steven Hooker (not in Monaco), Yelena Isinbayeva, Asafa Powell, Sanya Richards, Andreas Thorkildsen, Blanka Vlasic.
The announcement of the signing of this swathe of the sport's elite performers took place, along with the opening of the IAAF Diamond League website - http://www.diamondleague.com - during a sparkling launch ceremony and dinner which began at 20:30hrs (GMT +1hr), Saturday 21 November in the Salle d'Or of the Fairmont Hotel.
The IAAF Diamond League is composed of 14 meetings spread across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the USA, and will showcase 32 athletics disciplines which have been carefully distributed amongst the meetings. In each discipline there will be an "IAAF Diamond Race" with points available throughout the season.
Winners of each Diamond Race get a Diamond Trophy which will include 4 carats of diamonds but more importantly, they will have showed season long consistency to earn the unchallenged honour of being the World Number 1.
Starting in 2010, the IAAF Diamond League will offer more athletes, more earning opportunities with prize money totalling 6.63 MILLION dollars.
The IAAF Diamond League will be discussing central contracts with at least the top two athletes in each discipline to secure exciting ‘head to head' confrontations between the world's best on a regular basis throughout the IAAF Diamond League season which in 2010 stretches from mid-May to the end of August.
Bolt, Gay and Powell throughout the season
The IAAF Diamond League is especially pleased to confirm that with the racing commitments of Bolt, Gay and Powell secured, every one of the 14 meetings will see at least one of these sprint stars compete; many meetings will have two of them in action and a lucky few will have the three fastest men on show.
Across all disciplines the details of exactly which athlete is competing in which meetings next year will be delivered in further announcements between now and the first meeting of the IAAF Diamond League in Doha on 14 May 2010.
IAAF Diamond League - 2010 Calendar
Doha (QAT) - Fri 14 May
Shanghai (CHN) - Sun 23 May
Oslo (NOR) - Fri 4 June
Rome (ITA) - Thu 10 June
New York (USA) - Sat 12 June
Eugene (USA) - Sat 3 July
Lausanne (SUI) - Thu 8 July
Gateshead (GBR) - Sat 10 July
Paris (FRA) - Fri 16 July
Monaco (MON) - Thu 22 July
Stockholm (SWE) - Fri 6 Aug
London (GBR) - Fri 13 and Sat 14 Aug
Zürich (SUI) - Thu 19 Aug
Brussels (BEL) - Fri 27 Aug