Weltklasse Zurich, the Swiss Diamond League event, released a statement on Tuesday announcing the launch of an exhibition meet called the Inspiration Games. This event will not replace the Diamond League Final (which was set for September in Zurich but cancelled due to COVID-19) by any means, but it will give some of track and field’s best athletes another chance to run, jump and throw on the world stage this summer. The Inspiration Games will take place on July 9 with the hopes of entertaining athletics fans across the world and inspiring the next generation of athletes.
.@WeltklasseZH plans to take itself to the world on 9th July, by hosting an innovative new live team event, with dozens of athletes competing simultaneously in different venues across the globe 👇https://t.co/95rxTNafcj#DiamondLeague
— Wanda Diamond League (@Diamond_League) June 9, 2020
Like the June 11 Impossible Games in Norway, which are being held in lieu of the Oslo Diamond League meet, the Inspiration Games will have a limited lineup of athletes and events. The Impossible Games have 13 competitions set and fewer than 50 athletes slated to compete, but according to the meet announcement, the Inspiration Games will be even smaller, with just 30 “track and field superstars” competing in eight disciplines.
The full lineup of 30 athletes who will compete on July 9 has not been released, but one event that has been locked in is a 150m race that will feature 200m Olympic and world champion Allyson Felix of the U.S., Bahamian 400m Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Switzerland’s world championship 200m bronze medallist Mujinga Kambundji. Kambundji will race in Zurich while Felix and Miller-Uibo will run in the U.S.
The meet as a whole is a team competition, and the events will be a “series of three-way clashes between Europe, the USA and the Rest of the World.” Organizers have not gone into too much detail regarding this team format yet, but it looks like a promising and fun way to bring athletes across the world to compete together even though they can’t all make it to the same stadium.
Limited field, multiple venues
There’s also a wrinkle with the matter of location, and although the event will be organized by Weltklasse Zurich, its competitions will take place in seven stadiums on three different continents. The venue list has not yet been announced, but stadiums in Florida, California and Zurich have been confirmed for competitions. With Europe and North America taking two of the continent slots, it seems likely that Africa will grab the third, seeing as many of the world’s best track athletes hail from African nations, but that has yet to be announced.