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1. IAAF Golden League - Overview

 

IAAF Golden League

 

The IAAF Golden League was an annual series of outdoor track and field meetings organised by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Athletes who won specific events at all of the series meetings were awarded a jackpot prize, sometimes given in gold bars, which inspired the series name.[1] The competition began with seven meetings and it lasted for twelve years as the IAAF's top tier of one-day meetings. Within the IAAF's global circuit, athletes received additional points for their performances at the Golden League for the IAAF Grand Prix (1998–2002), IAAF World Outdoor Meetings (2003–2005), then IAAF World Athletics Tour (2006–2009). The Golden League was replaced in 2010 by the Diamond League, which marked an expansion to fourteen seasonal meetings covering all track and field events except the hammer throw.

The origins of the Golden League trace back to the Golden Four series that ran from 1993 to 1997, comprising four top level European meetings on the IAAF Grand Prix circuit (Berlin, Brussels, Oslo, and Zürich).

IAAF Golden League Logo.jpg
Sport Outdoor track and field
Founded 1998
Ceased 2009
Continent Europe
The first Golden League was held as the new top tier of the 1998 IAAF Grand Prix and consisted of the former Golden Four meetings, plus Rome, Monaco, and the 1998 IAAF Grand Prix Final in Moscow. From the 1999 IAAF Golden League onwards, the Meeting Gaz de France in Paris was added and the Grand Prix Final dropped. That year all meetings were scheduled for Wednesday evenings in order to improve the sport's television coverage. When the IAAF Grand Prix was succeeded by the IAAF World Outdoor Meetings series in 2003, the Monaco meeting was removed from the Golden League series and made host of the IAAF World Athletics Final instead. The Golden League meetings remained unchanged from 2003 to 2009.

The series had three title sponsors in its history, starting with Ericsson in 1998, TDK in 2004 and 2005, then ÅF in 2008 and 2009.

Formula

Each year, within each of the meetings of the series, there was a group of men's and women's competitions (whose typology was varied from year to year, even if spectacular competitions, such as the 100 meters flat , were rarely removed from the program); with different criteria for the various editions, but in most cases by winning the same specialty in all the meetings of a year, the athletes won the Golden League jackpot.

As of 2010 , the Golden League has been replaced by the Diamond League.

IAAF Golden League – The New Vision of Athletics


IAAF Golden League – The New Vision of Athletics
20 March 1998 -Marrakech- Morocco - The IAAF Golden League  was officially launched this morning in the beautiful city of Marrakech, on the eve of the 26th IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

The IAAF Golden League, The New Vision of Athletics , is an exciting step forward for the World Athletics Movement.

The IAAF has brought together the most important one-day athletic meetings - OSLO, ROME, MONACO, ZURICH, BRUSSELS and BERLIN to create the IAAF Golden League which will precede the IAAF Grand Prix/Golden League Final in Moscow. This new format will build on the traditions and excitement of the individual meetings but create a highly visible, unified platform for the greatest athletes in the world.

The format of the Golden League is designed to have the greatest impact on public opinion by focusing attention on athletics as a TV spectacular in a concentrated period of time between July 9 and September 5. With some other sports trying to monopolise the viewing public by offering regular fixed slots on TV, the IAAF has tried to create something even more exciting to capture the imagination of the sports’ fan.

At each of the Golden League Meetings there are 12 Golden League Events - 7 for men (100m, 400m, 1500m, either 3000m 5000 or 10 000, 400m hurdles, Triple Jump and Pole Vault) and 5 for women (100m, 400m, 1500m, 100m hurdles and Javelin). A $1 million prize is available to share among those athletes who win Golden League events at each Golden League Meeting and at the Grand Prix Final.

The IAAF will guarantee the appearance of a number of top athletes at each Golden League Meeting to ensure a consistently high standard of competition. It is also the aim of the IAAF and the Meeting Organisers to foster the spirit of competition by focusing on prize money rather than appearance money as a method of rewarding performance.

Editions

Edition Year Start date End date Meets Jackpot
events
Oslo Rome Paris Monaco Zürich Brussels Berlin GP Final Series
1 1998 9 July 1 September 7 12 1 2 N/A 3 4 5 6 7 1998 IAAF Grand Prix
2 1999 30 June 7 September 7 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 N/A 1999 IAAF Grand Prix
3 2000 23 June 1 September 7 12 3 2 1 5 4 6 7 N/A 2000 IAAF Grand Prix
4 2001 29 June 31 August 7 14 3 1 2 4 5 6 7 N/A 2001 IAAF Grand Prix
5 2002 28 June 6 September 7 12 1 3 2 4 5 6 7 N/A 2002 IAAF Grand Prix
6 2003 27 June 5 September 6 12 1 3 2 N/A 4 5 6 N/A 2003 IAAF World Outdoor Meetings
7 2004 11 June 12 September 6 12 1 2 3 N/A 4 5 6 N/A 2004 IAAF World Outdoor Meetings
8 2005 1 July 4 September 6 11 3 2 1 N/A 4 5 6 N/A 2005 IAAF World Outdoor Meetings
9 2006 2 June 3 September 6 11 1 3 2 N/A 4 5 6 N/A 2006 IAAF World Athletics Tour
10 2007 15 June 16 September 6 10 1 3 2 N/A 4 5 6 N/A 2007 IAAF World Athletics Tour
11 2008 1 June 5 September 6 10 2 3 4 N/A 5 6 1 N/A 2008 IAAF World Athletics Tour
12 2009 14 June 4 September 6 10 2 3 4 N/A 5 6 1 N/A 2009 IAAF World Athletics Tour
In 2004, the Bislett Games were moved from Oslo to the Fana Stadion in Bergen due to the redevelopment of the Bislett Stadium.[35] The renovation was a requirement to its maintaining Golden League status.
# Meeting Arena City Country 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
12 Bislett Games Bislett Stadium Oslo Norway
12 Weltklasse Zürich Letzigrund Zürich Switzerland
12 Memorial Van Damme King Baudouin Stadium Brussels Belgium
12 ISTAF Berlin Olympiastadion Berlin Germany
12 Golden Gala Stadio Olimpico Rome Italy
11 Meeting Areva Stade de France Paris France  
5 Herculis Stade Louis II Fontvieille Monaco              
1 IAAF Grand Prix Final Luzhniki Stadium Moscow Russia                      

Jackpot

Every year athletes who have succeeded in to win all the races in the same specialties have been awarded a large cash prize or ingots d ' gold , the so-called jackpot ; in case of ex aequo, the prize was shared among the eligible athletes.
In the first two editions, the $ 1,000,000 jackpot was the prerogative of the athletes who won all the Golden League meetings, six in 1998 and seven in 1999  . For the 2000 edition , the year of the Sydney Olympics, the prize was transformed into 50 kg in gold bars, to conquer which it was no longer necessary to win all seven scheduled meetings: the finish line was first raised to six, to facilitate the American athletes prevented from participating in the competition. 'opening because they were engaged in a meeting in Eugene  , then at five, given the heavy commitments that the athletes would have had to undergo in the Olympic year  . The structure of the jackpot remained unchanged also the following year, with a circuit always consisting of seven appointments. 

In 2002 , without the Olympics and the World Championships, we went back to the old days: jackpot only for the winners of all the scheduled stages.  For the 2003 edition the jackpot returned to be 1,000,000 dollars, while the number of meetings definitively dropped to six, after the abandonment of the Herculis in Monte Carlo , which became the scene of the World Athletics Finals . ; the formula also remained unchanged in the two subsequent editions, while the name of the event became TDK Golden League following a sponsorship agreement with the Japanese company TDK . In the 2006 edition, the structure of the jackpot was split in two: half of the prize was awarded to the winning athletes in all six stages, while the other half was divided among the athletes who won at least five races;  Thanks to this mechanism, Kenenisa Bekele , Tirunesh Dibaba and Irving Saladino also had access to the final prize . For the 2007 edition and the following the jackpot underwent the last change: 1,000,000 dollars to be divided among the winning athletes of all six meetings; in the absence of winners, a halved jackpot was intended for athletes who had won at least five races.
In 2008 theIAAF entered into a two-year sponsorship agreement with Swedish company ÅF , as a result the name of the event was changed from IAAF Golden League to ÅF Golden League .

The evidence of the jackpo

Each year, 4 to 8 men's and women's specialties were scheduled for the final jackpot. The tests varied from edition to edition, to give all athletes the opportunity to achieve success in the event. For each edition the specialties were:

  • a sprint race, 100 m or 200 m (with a clear prevalence of the first), accompanied on some occasions by 400 m
  • a fast middle distance race , with the exception of 2006 and 2007 for women and 2009 for men and women
  • an obstacle course race , with an almost continuous alternation between high obstacles ( 100 m for women and 110 m for men) and low obstacles ( 400 m )
  • a men's jumping competition

In approximately half of the editions, a long middle distance race was also scheduled . The throws were played sporadically, with the exception of the men 's javelin which was featured eight times.

 

 Jackpot event with no winner
 Jackpot event with winner
Men
Event199819992000200120022003200420052006200720082009TotalWinners
100 m     United States Greene           Jamaica Powell       10 2
200 m                         2 -
400 m                 United States Wariner       4 2
800 m   Denmark Kipketer   Switzerland Bucher                 5 2
1500 m/Mile Morocco El Guerrouj   Morocco El Guerrouj Morocco El Guerrouj Morocco El Guerrouj               9 4
3000 m/5000 m                 Ethiopia Bekele[40]     Ethiopia Bekele 6 2
5000 m/10,000 m Ethiopia Gebrselassie                       1 1
110 m hurdles       United States Johnson                 6 1
400 m hurdles         Dominican Republic Sánchez               5 1
3000 m s'chase                         2 -
High jump                         2 -
Pole vault                         5 -
Long jump                 Panama Saladino[40]       4 1
Triple jump             Sweden Olsson           4 1
Shot put                         1 -
Discus throw                         1 -
Javelin throw                         8 -
Total 7 7 7 8 6 6 6 6 6 5 6 5 75
Winners 2 1 2 3 2 - 1 - 4 - - 1 16
Women
Event199819992000200120022003200420052006200720082009TotalWinners
100 m United States Jones     United States Jones United States Jones               10 3
200 m                         2 -
400 m         Mexico Guevara   The Bahamas Williams   United States Richards United States Richards   United States Richards 6 5
800 m           Mozambique Mutola         Kenya Jelimo   5 2
1500 m/Mile       Romania Szekely                 6 1
3000 m/5000 m   Romania Szabó   Russia Yegorova         Ethiopia Dibaba[40]       6 3
5000 m/10,000 m                         - -
100 m hurdles                         8 -
400 m hurdles                         4 -
3000 m s'chase                         - -
High jump                         8 -
Pole vault                   Russia Isinbayeva   Russia Isinbayeva 2 2
Long jump     Russia Kotova                   1 1
Triple jump               Russia Lebedeva         2 1
Shot put                         - -
Discus throw                         - -
Javelin throw     Norway Hattestad                   3 1
Total 5 5 5 6 6 6 6 5 5 5 4 5 63
Winners 1 1 2 3 2 1 1 1 2 2 1 2 19

Winners

YearWinnersNationsEvent(s)Prize
1998 Hicham El Guerrouj (1)  Morocco 1500 metres/mile $333,333
Haile Gebrselassie  Ethiopia 5000 metres/10,000 metres
Marion Jones  United States 100 metres
1999 Wilson Kipketer  Denmark 800 metres $500,000
Gabriela Szabo  Romania 3000 metres/5000 metres
2000 Hicham El Guerrouj (2)  Morocco 1500 metres/mile 12.5 kg gold bar
Maurice Greene  United States 100 metres
Trine Hattestad  Norway Javelin throw
Tatyana Kotova  Russia Long jump
2001 André Bucher   Switzerland 800 metres 8.33 kg Gold Bar
Hicham El Guerrouj (3)  Morocco 1500 metres/mile/2000 metres
Allen Johnson  United States 110 metres hurdles
Marion Jones (2)  United States 100 metres
Violeta Szekely  Romania 1500 metres
Olga Yegorova  Russia 3000 metres/5000 metres
2002 Hicham El Guerrouj (4)  Morocco 1500 metres 12.5 kg Gold Bar
Ana Guevara  Mexico 400 metres
Marion Jones (3)  United States 100 metres
Félix Sánchez  Dominican Republic 400 metres hurdles
2003 Maria Mutola  Mozambique 800 metres $1,000,000
2004 Christian Olsson  Sweden Triple jump $500,000
Tonique Williams-Darling  Bahamas 400 metres
2005 Tatyana Lebedeva  Russia Triple jump $1,000,000
2006 Asafa Powell  Jamaica 100 metres $249,999*
Jeremy Wariner  United States 400 metres
Sanya Richards  United States 400 metres
Kenenisa Bekele  Ethiopia 5000 metres $83,333*
Tirunesh Dibaba  Ethiopia 5000 metres
Irving Saladino  Panama Long jump
2007 Yelena Isinbayeva  Russia Pole vault $500,000
Sanya Richards (2)  United States 400 metres
2008 Pamela Jelimo  Kenya 800 metres $1,000,000
2009 Sanya Richards (3)  United States 400 metres $333,333
Yelena Isinbayeva (2)  Russia Pole vault
Kenenisa Bekele (2)  Ethiopia 3000 metres/5000 metres
  • The 2006 series had a split prize pot, with US$250,000 shared between the athletes who won at five meetings, and US$750,000 being shared among athletes who won at all six meetings.

Multiple winners

 

On an individual level, three athletes have won the Golden League on more than one occasion:

  • 4 wins : Marocco Hicham El Guerrouj (1998, 2000, 2001, 2002)
  • 3 wins : Stati Uniti Marion Jones (1998, 2001, 2002) and Stati Uniti Sanya Richards (2006, 2007, 2009)
  • 2 wins : Etiopia Kenenisa Bekele (2006, 2009) and Russia Elena Isinbaeva (2007, 2009)


The nations with the most athlete victories from their own country are:

  • 9 wins :
    • Stati Uniti United States (three by Marion Jones and Sanya Richards and one each by Maurice Greene , Allen Johnson and Jeremy Wariner )
  • 5 wins :
    • Russia Russia (two for Elena Isinbaeva and one each for Tatyana Kotova , Olga Yegorova and Tatyana Lebedeva )
  • 4 wins :
    • Marocco Morocco (all four of Hicham El Guerrouj )
    • Etiopia Ethiopia (two by Kenenisa Bekele and one each by Haile Gebrselassie and Tirunesh Dibaba )
  • 2 wins :
    • Romania Romania (one each for Gabriela Szabó and Violeta Szekely )

Events by year

YearMenWomenTotal
1998 200 metres 200 metres 13
800 metres 800 metres
5000 metres 3000 metres
110 metres hurdles 400 metres hurdles
3000 metres steeplechase N/A
long jump high jump
pole vault N/A
javelin throw N/A
1999 200 metres 200 metres 13
800 metres 800 metres
5000 metres 3000 metres
110 metres hurdles 400 metres hurdles
3000 metres steeplechase high jump
long jump N/A
pole vault N/A
javelin throw N/A
2000 100 metres 100 metres 12
1500 metres 1500 metres
3000 metres N/A
400 metres hurdles 100 metres hurdles
high jump long jump
pole vault N/A
shot put javelin throw
2001 100 metres 100 metres 14
800 metres 800 metres
1500 metres 1500 metres
3000 metres 3000 metres
3000 metres steeplechase N/A
110 metres hurdles 400 metres hurdles
long jump high jump
javelin throw N/A
2002 100 metres 100 metres 12
N/A 400 metres
1500 metres 1500 metres
3000 metres/5000 metres 3000 metres/5000 metres
400 metres hurdles 100 metres hurdles
pole vault N/A
triple jump javelin throw
2003 100 metres 100 metres 12
800 metres 800 metres
3000 metres/5000 metres 1500 metres
110 metres hurdles 400 metres hurdles
pole vault triple jump
N/A high jump
javelin throw N/A
2004 200 metres 100 metres 12
800 metres 400 metres
1500 metres 1500 metres
N/A 3000 metres/5000 metres
400 metres hurdles 100 metres hurdles
triple jump high jump
discus throw N/A
2005 100 metres 100 metres 11
800 metres 800 metres
1500 metres/1 mile 3000 metres/5000 metres
110 metres hurdles 400 metres hurdles
high jump triple jump
javelin throw N/A
2006 100 metres 100 metres 10
400 metres 400 metres
5000 metres 5000 metres
N/A 100 metres hurdles
long jump high jump
javelin throw N/A
2007 100 metres 100 metres 10
1500 metres / Mile 400 metres
110 metres hurdles 100 metres hurdles
triple jump high jump
N/A pole vault
javelin throw N/A
2008 100 metres 200 metres 11
400 metres N/A
1500 metres 800 metres
400 metres hurdles 100 metres hurdles
long jump high jump
javelin throw N/A
2009 100 metres 100 metres 10
400 metres 400 metres
3000 metres/5000 metres N/A
110 metres hurdles 100 metres hurdles
N/A high jump
N/A pole vault
javelin throw N/A

 

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