BEIJING, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe said that he is looking forward to the two Diamond League meetings in China next summer, including the newly confirmed Shenzhen meeting.
According to the 2022 calendar released by the organizers on Tuesday, the Shenzhen meeting will be held on August 6, one week after the Shanghai meeting. It will be the first time for the athletics' premier tour to have two meetings in China.
"We're pleased to be competing globally. It's really important the Diamond League has a foothold in all our big athletics nations. China has a strong and current history in track and field. We are looking forward to those meetings," Coe said in his annual year-end conference call.
"In the past, Shanghai has been a very, very strong meeting," he said. "China has hosted our championships in the past. We have a very successful worlds in 2015."
The Diamond League will consist of 14 meetings next year. Switzerland will also held two meetings, in Lausanne and Zurich respectively.
During the conference call, Coe said athletics "came out of Tokyo as clearly the No. 1 sport" as statistics from the International Olympic Committee showed that athletics scored the biggest numbers among all sports on television, newspapers and social media. He also considers it a good opportunity to further promote the sport in America as the World Championships will be held for the first time in the U.S, in Eugene, Oregon next summer.
The 2022 Winter Olympic Games to be held in Beijing next February also provides Coe with an extra source of pride for his sport since many athletes in sliding sports such as bobsleigh and skeleton also compete in athletics or at least have related training background.
"Athletics always has particularly strong links with bobsleigh in countries all around the world," he said."The sprinters, sometimes jumpers, they have supreme conditioning. I am not surprised that winter sports would want to look at such a rich pool of talent."
At the end of the conference call, Coe sent his message to all track and field athletes who would compete in the Winter Olympics - "Good luck and don't be injured if you plan to be in Oregon". Enditem