IAAF Council opens in Nairobi decides changes in Competition Structure

In the first session of the IAAF Council meeting in Nairobi, the executive body of the International Association of Athletics Federations worked its way through a charged agenda and made a number of decisions.

Following the welcome of the meeting’s host, Isaiah Kiplagat, President of the Kenyan Amateur Athletic Association, President Lamine Diack declared the proceedings open and the discussions commenced.

Most important among the Council’s decisions this morning were the adoption of a new Competition Structure from 2003, streamlining the current multiple tier organisation to produce a global fully-integrated competition system. The high prestige IAAF Golden League will top the new structure, which will also incorporate the major athletics championships around the world, followed by the IAAF Grand Prix, Grand Prix II and a new Grand Prix III category that will replace the previous Permit Meetings.

Council further approved the principle of utilisation of the IAAF World Rankings as the criteria for establishing the eligibility of athletes to compete at the various levels of competition.

The Overall Grand Prix competition will be replaced with financial awards to the athletes heading the men and women Overall Rankings and selected as Athletes of the Year at the annual World Athletics Gala.

Another major decision by Council was the acceleration of the process of introduction to the IAAF World Athletics Series of the women’s steeplechase.

Council decided that this event, which was originally scheduled for introduction as an event at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in 2007, would in fact be introduced for the first time over a shorter distance of 2000 metres at the 2004 edition of the World Junior Championships. At its next meeting in Paris in July, Council will decide whether this event should be staged as an exhibition event at the 2003 World Championships in Paris. The senior women’s full 3000m event will be staged at the 2005 World Championships.

Later this afternoon three Kenyan athletics legends will draw the order of presentation of the bidding cities for the 2005 World Championships and this event will be covered live on the IAAF web site.

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Nick Davies
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