11 May, 2020

Weltklasse Zürich to host Wanda Diamond League Finals in 2021 and 2022 instead of September 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Weltklasse Zürich 2020 cannot be held as Wanda Diamond League finals this year. The three-day event had been scheduled for 9 to 11 September. Instead, Zurich will host the series’ final events in 2021 and 2022. Despite the fact that the Swiss Federal Council has banned large events only until the end of August, staging the finals in their intended form is unrealistic. The Zurich promoters are not burying their heads in the sand, however. Weltklasse Zürich is working hard to create novel platforms for this year.

Weltklasse Zürich was getting ready to write the next chapter of its history by celebrating local and global athletics on a new level: 24 final events over the course of three days  and at three exciting venues. That was the original plan for the 2020 edition of the Diamond League finals. A plan, that has become obsolete due to the global spreading of the coronavirus. Even though recent developments are fuelling hopes for a return to normal, a new normal, in the near future. And even though the Swiss Federal Council’s ban of large events may be lifted at the end of August according to current information, Weltklasse Zürich establishes clarity for all parties involved by cancelling the competitions scheduled for September.

As far as the three-day athletics celebration is concerned, this means: It will only be a pleasure deferred. After consulting with representatives of the Wanda Diamond League and city authorities, as well as with our partners, we can confirm that Weltklasse Zürich will be hosting the Diamond League finals in 2021 – and in 2022.

“We are very sad to have to cancel the 24 final events for this year. The exceptional situation we live in represents an opportunity to create and test novel formats we can already implement this year, however,” says Weltklasse Zürich Co-Meeting Director Christoph Joho. The prestigious athletics meeting, known for its expert audience, is not only aware of the responsibility it bears towards athletes, fans, and partners. The organisation also assumes its role in society: “As promoters of an international major event and of the largest initiative for young talents, the UBS Kids Cup, we would like to play an active role and contribute our know-how,” says Andreas Hediger, Co-Meeting Director of Weltklasse Zürich, explaining the meeting’s efforts to support the country’s athletics community and sports in general. Thorough analyses will show, which platforms can be created and in which form they can be implemented in the current situation.

A first initiative will be the OneMillionRun on 30 and 31 May. The event, the first of its kind, has been developed by Weltklasse Zürich, Datasport, iRewind, and the Schweizer Sporthilfe foundation. Participants will try to run one million kilometres in 48 hours. They will run on their own and yet together, sending a starting signal for Switzerland to get moving again and showing solidarity in times of social distancing. Funds raised, either with the help of sponsors and partners, or from donations, will directly go to local sports talents. “Innovative projects and generous sponsors are essential when it comes to supporting the best young athletes on their road to the top and to ensure Swiss success stories in the future,” explains Steve Schennach, manager of the Schweizer Sporthilfe foundation. Together with its co-initiators, Weltklasse Zürich takes a stand for solidarity in our great sporting nation.