On the occasion of a media day on national athletics at Wankdorf Stadium in Bern, Co-Meeting Directors Andreas Hediger and Christoph Joho offered a sneak peek at some of the highlights of Weltklasse Zürich 2023 and introduced both the organisation’s latest sustainability projects and their new sustainability ambassador Ajla Del Ponte. They also spoke about the hugely successful UBS Kids Cup and about how well the new school project, the Weltklasse Zürich Extra Mile, has been received.
Weltklasse Zürich at Zurich Main Station and a new edition of the women’s 4x100m at Letzigrund Stadium
Aiming high at Zurich Main Station: The world’s best pole vaulters will be competing under the roof of the station’s ticket hall again on Wednesday, 30 August 2023. For the first time, their show at the extraordinary venue will also represent a Wanda Diamond League event. The event will be covered live by SRF2, as will all the athletics action at Letzigrund Stadium on the following day.
The stadium audience will get to enjoy a fascinating mix of field events and some of the most exciting track races (click here for a full list of all events). As Weltklasse Zürich will be held almost immediately after the completion of this year’s world championships in Budapest, there will no doubt be a number of scores to be settled in some of the most competitive events.
Andreas Hediger was particularly excited to be able to announce that the popular women’s 4x100m relay race will be part of the programme of events again. “The relay race is such an emotional and very special highlight, and it features the fastest Swiss athletes. We are delighted to have them back at Letzigrund Stadium this year!”
Wanda Diamond League season about to get underway
The Wanda Diamond League season is about to begin in Doha in a few days. The series’ Final will be held in Eugene, Oregon (USA), this year. Weltklasse Zürich had hosted the final events in 2021 and 2022. Starting with the seasons 2023 and 204, the rotation principle that was adopted for host cities three years ago will go into effect.
Hediger explained the new system on the occasion of the media day. “In 2020, the Wanda Diamond League agreed on a ten-year plan to further develop international athletics. The series’ members decided that meetings hosting the Final should change according to a rotating principle, and that the event should be held in one single host city on two days. Weltklasse Zürich had hosted the first two Finals according to the new system. This year, Eugene will serve as host city, and Brussels will take over in 2024. In 2025 and 2027, the Final will return to its “home base” in Zurich. In addition, Zurich will of course exercise its right to host two further Finals between 2028 and 2030,” Hediger said.
Higher, faster, more sustainable
Christoph Joho provided an update on the UBS Kids Cup and the new Weltklasse Zürich Extra Mile. He also highlighted the efforts Weltklasse Zürich is making with respect to environmental and economic aspects. Specific actions in the area of social sustainability include establishing various sports activities and events that create added value for society. Both the UBS Kids Cup and the Weltklasse Zürich Extra Mile are excellent examples of the approach. “We managed to make endurance run feel playful for students. More than 5000 children from around the canton of Zurich will be competing in two final events at Letzigrund Stadium.”
As far as working towards environmental sustainability are concerned, Weltklasse Zürich will focus on optimising their food and beverage assortment, on waste management, and on further reducing and compensating emissions. In addition, the UBS Kids Cup was submitted to a comprehensive analysis.
Weltklasse Zürich seeks and/or intensifies various strategic partnerships in the area of sustainability, including with World Athletics, the Wanda Diamond League, and the Swiss Top Events. In addition to such partnerships, re-investing in national athletics remains a top priority. Click here to learn more about Weltklasse Zürich sustainability actions and read the latest sustainability report.
Sustainability ambassador Ajla Del Ponte
As part of the Weltklasse Zürich sustainability strategy, an Advisory Board has been created. One of its members is sprinter Ajla Del Ponte. “Ajla shares our passion for the subject area, and is prepared to tackle all aspects it involves with joy and an innovative spirit. She is a wonderful role model,” Joho stressed.
Del Ponte explained that her passion for sustainability-related matters had started several years ago, when she was still living in Switzerland and was thinking about ways to live a more sustainable life together with her flatmate. “It is great to discuss such important topics with Weltklasse Zürich, and to find out what we can achieve together,” said Del Ponte, who is also a sustainability ambassador for World Athletics.
Weltklasse Zürich tickets to go on sale on 16 May – no price increases
Weltklasse Zürich stadium tickets are always in high demand. Tickets for spots in the standing area, seats in family sectors, or for top categories along the finishing straight will all be available on www.weltklassezuerich.ch. They tend to sell out quickly. Fans who would like to be in the crowd should make sure to secure their seats early on. Despite the current trend of rising prices, Weltklasse Zürich will cost the same as last year. Seats will be available from 25 CHF (children) or 65 CHF (adults). Fans who would like to watch from the standing area can do so for 35 CHF. And visitors will be able to attend the vault show at Zurich Main Station free of charge.