A guide to Thursday’s innovative action, including head-to-heads, a timetable, TV info and more
Some of the sport’s biggest stars will compete at a meeting with a difference on Thursday (July 9) as they go head-to-head, many miles apart.
The innovative Inspiration Games, organised by Weltklasse Zürich in place of the traditional Wanda Diamond League meeting, will see 28 athletes in three teams involved across eight events in seven different venues.
One athlete from each of the teams – Europe, North America and World – will compete in each of the five track and three field events. They will be connected by a live video and timing link with coverage to be shown via a split screen in near real time.
The venues involved are in Aubière (FRA), Bradenton, FL (USA), Karlstad (SWE), Lisbon (POR), Papendal/Arnhem (NED), Walnut, CA (USA) and Zurich (SUI).
“Special times require special approaches,” said meeting co-director Andreas Hediger.
“If athletes cannot come to Zurich, we go to the athletes.”
Athletes and events
(Team in brackets)
150m: Allyson Felix in Walnut (North America), Shaunae Miller-Uibo in Bradenton (World), Mujinga Kambundji in Zurich (Europe)
300m hurdles: Zuzana Hejnová in Papendal/Arnhem (World), Georganne Moline in Walnut (North America), Lea Sprunger in Zurich (Europe)
3x100m: Netherlands (Marije van Hunenstijn, Nadine Visser, Dafne Schippers) in Papendal/Arnhem (World), Switzerland (Riccarda Dietsche, Ajla Del Ponte, Mujinga Kambundji) in Zurich (Europe), USA (Candace Hill, Tianna Bartoletta, Allyson Felix) in Walnut (North America)
Pole vault: Angelica Bengtsson in Karlstad (Europe), Sandi Morris in Bradenton (North America), Katerina Stefanidi in Walnut (World)
(Team in brackets)
100 yards: Andre De Grasse in Bradenton (North America), Omar McLeod in Bradenton (World), Jimmy Vicaut in Bradenton (Europe)
200m: Christophe Lemaitre in Zurich (Europe), Churandy Martina in Papendal/Arnhem (World), Noah Lyles in Bradenton (North America)
Triple jump: Omar Craddock in Walnut (North America), Pedro Pablo Pichardo in Lisbon (Europe), Christian Taylor in Bradenton (World)
Pole vault: Sam Kendricks in Bradenton (North America), Valentin Lavillenie in Aubière (World), Piotr Lisek in Karlstad (Europe)
As well as team points, athletes will be competing for an overall $20,000 prize purse in each event. Each winner will score three points and win $10,000, the runner-up will score two points ($6,000) and the third-placed athlete will score one point ($4,000).
“I liked the idea of the Inspiration Games,” said multiple Olympic and world gold medallist Felix, who will race in both the 150m and 3x100m.
“I thought it was so cool and I’ve just been training and training. In California right now there are no real race possibilities so this seemed like something great. I just loved the concept, it was different and creative.
“I’m not really sure what to expect, it’s the first time that we’ve all done anything like this, so I’m just approaching it to have fun and to give people something to watch and to be entertained.
“We’ve all missed sports so much and this just reinforces the importance of sport and what it does to bring people together. I think everyone all over the world has been enduring really challenging times and I hope that this is a time of hope, a time where we can pause and appreciate sport and creativity.”
How the competition will work
In four of the five track events, the athletes will be lining up in different venues. The starting gun at each venue will go off at the same time and a split screen will show each athlete in action. The men’s 100 yards event will see all three athletes race on the same track.
In the field events, athletes will jump individually, as in a traditional competition, so their opponents can watch their attempts should they wish via a live video or results screen. Viewers will be able to see the competing athlete as well as the reactions of their opponents by way of a split screen.
Live results can be found here.
Times in CET (BST +1)
19:35 Women’s pole vault
19:35 Men’s pole vault
20:05 Men’s triple jump
20:10 Women’s 150m
20:27 Men’s 100 yards
20:41 Women’s 300m hurdles
21:06 Men’s 200m
21:20 Women’s 3x100m
Details of where fans can watch the action, depending on location, can be found here.
Fans in the UK can tune in to the BBC Red Button and BBC Sport online from 18:35 BST.
For locations where the feed is not blocked, fans can watch via the below Wanda Diamond League YouTube stream.
Keep an eye on our social media channels and website for updates and coverage.