On current form it looks a mismatch on the track but the combined efforts of the world’s finest athletics team and world class sports promotion bears the promise of another quality event taking place at London’s Olympic Stadium next year.
With the public appetite whetted following a successful staging of the World Athletics Championships fresh in the memory, British Athletics and USA Track & Field (USATF) have moved quickly to announce that they will be facing one another in ‘The Meet’ next summer.
While it is billed as a clash between two of the strongest nations in world athletics on the evidence of what we have just witnessed in London the visitors are likely to dominate since, after a golden spell since hosting the Olympics five years ago, the British team is going through something of a transition period.
As to the claims that it is an innovative idea, there are obvious similarities with the international matches of the past, but organisers are claiming that ‘a new, fast-paced format’, featuring nine events in two hours, will provide a new form of athletics entertainment.
“‘The Meet’ will provide audiences with a fantastic head-to-head match between British Athletics and USA Track & Field and promises to be one of the biggest events in athletics in 2018,” claimed Niels de Vos, the chief executive of British Athletics.
“We are delighted to host Team USATF here in London, in an event that will excite spectators in the best athletics stadium in the world. This event will thrill a whole new generation of athletics fans who have attended the London Stadium in their hundreds of thousands for the Muller Anniversary Games, World Para Athletics Championships and IAAF World Championships.”
The prospect of the match was welcomed by the woman whose exploits at the highest level surpass even those of Usain Bolt, American 400 metres queen Allyson Felix having claimed six Olympic and 11 World Championship golds and 23 Olympic and World Championship medals in all.
“The UK has passionate fans who love track and field. Bringing team competition back to the LondonStadium will be special – there is nowhere like it in the world for track and field, and it has been the site of some memorable Team USATF performances. We are really looking forward to ‘The Meet’,” said the 31-year-old.
Details of the format and which athletes will be taking part, but on the evidence of last weekend the good news for the home team is that relays are set to feature and Adam Gemili, one of the quartet that earned Britain a first ever 4×100 metres world championship gold medal last Saturday, was another who expressed his relish for the clash.
“This is the head-to-head in world athletics,” he said.
“We have a great sporting rivalry with the USA team and we look forward to seeing which nation comes out strongest at ‘The Meet’ next summer. The event is all about power, speed and excitement. I can’t wait.”
Source : HeraldScotland