More than an athletics meeting
Weltklasse Zürich is getting ready to present two world premieres on 8 and 9 September, one month after the Olympic closing ceremony in Tokyo. For the first time, Zurich will host all Wanda Diamond League final events. The 2021 edition of the prestigious series of 13 meetings around the globe started on Sunday. In another first, Zurich’s Sechseläutenplatz will serve as an arena and provide a spectacular backdrop for seven of 32 final events.
The great news first: “There will be a 2021 Weltklasse Zürich meeting“, assured Co-Meeting Director Christoph Joho. And he promises that fans will get to see more national and international stars in action than ever. Competitions will be held over the course of two days and at two venues. The recent success of national and international efforts to fight the global pandemic have been cause for optimism. And the Swiss Federal Council’s plans to allow sports events without any restrictions after 20 August (if the epidemiological situation is stable), is another positive sign.
Many questions and challenges remain, of course: “We plan on staging competitions on Sechseläutenplatz on Wednesday and at Letzigrund Stadium on Thursday. What we still don’t know is, what the setting will be for visitors,” said Christoph Joho. The beginning of the ticket sale will depend on the requirements of the health authorities of the Canton of Zurich. So far, they have not been specified. “We do know, however, that we will be able to treat all fans who may not be able to secure a stadium ticket this year to an exciting Weltklasse Zürich show at home. There will be special fan packages and a three-hour live TV coverage,” said Christoph Joho on the occasion of an athletics media event in Ittigen.
Hunting for diamond trophies in the centre of the city
The athletics highlight of the year will not happen at the stadium or in front of TV sets at home only. People will also get to be very close to the action in the city centre. After nine shows at Zurich Main Station, the promoters roll out the red carpet for athletes and visitors on Sechseläutenplatz. Seven Diamond League final events will be held on the square by the lake, including the men’s and women’s 5000m, long jump, and shot put, as well as the women’s high jump.
There will be 2500 seats at the temporary arena, as well as three platforms for the technical events. In addition, a 560m Conica track will be installed around the Zurich Opera House. “Weltklasse Zürich on Sechseläutenplatz is a great opportunity for us to even more people to athletics, and to inspire them with some of the sport’s fascinating events,” explains Co-Meeting Director Andreas Hediger. There will be a two-hour live coverage of the event, as well.