Less than 24 hours to go until «Weltklasse Zürich on Sechseläutenplatz». Here is what the two Co-Meeting Directors and some of the stars of the athletics action on Wednesday night had to say about the much anticipated event.
Christoph Joho (Co-Meeting Director): “This year, we have a new and interesting concept for ”Weltklasse Zürich on Sechseläutenplatz”. We have staged city events for more than ten years. We believe they have the potential of inspiring people. The stadium will always remain our main stage, though. This particular city event is only possible with the support of our partners and sponsors, especially track innovator Conica.”
Andreas Hediger (Co-Meeting Director): “Uncertainty was our biggest challenge this year. We require four times as many hotel rooms for athletes: twice as many because of the number of finals, and twice that number due to COVID regulations (only single rooms are allowed). The event on Sechseläutenplatz will be held according version number 26 of our concept. Our goal was not only to a present two-day event in the stadium, we also wanted to transfer the stadium show to the city.”
Mariya Lasitskene (high jump): “I’m very proud to be an Olympic champion. It was a lot of hard work with my coach, especially after my injury at the beginning of the year. My team, family and I never gave up, we kept believing we could win an Olympic gold medal, so winning was very emotional. Now, I’m looking forward to competing in my first city event.”
Ryan Crouser (shot put): “It’s difficult to single out whether achieving a world record or winning Olympic gold is more special. Having the Olympics and athletes coming together after the pandemic – I would put that above the world record. The pandemic and going from world class training facilities to a garage made me refocus on the fundamentals and that was humbling. Less lifting and more throwing during that time was key to the success I’ve had this year, not physically but mentally. I guess I’m the only double Olympic champion and world record holder that hasn’t won the Diamond Trophy, so I’m looking to make it happen this year.”
Hellen Obiri (5000m): “I am very pleased with the Olympics, even with a silver medal. Having no fans in the stadium was different. For me, it is a great opportunity to race in this city event. And it’s a challenge because, it’s a new format, and the race will be different. It’s like a championship race, anyone can win.”
Francine Niyonsaba (5000m): “I had a long journey, coming to the 5000m. I’m glad I never gave up. I face all challenges in life with determination. Moving from Eugene to Kenya, the ”home of champions”, in May 2019 was the right decision. It’s great to be back in the Diamond League and an honour to race Hellen Obiri.”