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Top meetings in Africa still a dream, says IAAF

By on November 23, 2009

af.reuters.com IAAF president Lamine Diack said on Sunday he did not think athletics would soon join soccer in holding its top championship in Africa. “It is still but a dream. It is not for tomorrow,” Diack told a news conference when asked if the governing body (IAAF) had plans for its world outdoor athletics championships or even a one-day Diamond League meeting on the continent.

“Hopefully the opportunity will crop up,” Diack added.

The soccer World Cup will be staged in the continent for the first time when it takes place in South Africa next year.

The IAAF hopes to bring more international exposure to its sport through the new Diamond League, which launches in 2010.

Meetings are scheduled in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States, but none in Africa or South America where the 2016 Olympics have been awarded to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

World athletes of the year Usain Bolt and Sanya Richards said they hoped that would change for Africa.

“I have a big fan base in Africa,” said Bolt, who recently returned from his first trip there, “and it is always good to feel that your fans know you appreciate them and come and perform for them.”

Reuters.

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