Jamaica Mulls Hosting Diamond League Track and Field Meet

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - February 1, 2013

Above: a Diamond League event in Birmingham (Photo: Samsung Diamond League)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Jamaica has begun exploring the possibility of hosting a Diamond League Track and Field meet, according to Sports Minister Natalie Neita-Headley.

The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association, with the support of the government, has discussed the topic with the International Association of Athletics Federation.

“It is clear from these discussions that by hosting a meeting in Jamaica, the Diamond League will be able to build the worldwide appeal of athletics,” the Minister said. “It is also clear that a Jamaica meeting will be able to provide world class entertainment by providing outstanding television images.”

She also said most athletes would like to compete in Jamaica.

“They see this nation as the Mecca of track and field, where their efforts will be fully understood and appreciated,” she said. “They want to experience firsthand, the adulation of the same fans that have cheered on the Jamaican champions and applauded our regional friends when they compete at the national stadium,” she added.”

Holding a Samsung Diamond League event would require across-the-board marketing from entities like the Jamaica Tourism Board and the Caribbean Tourism Organization, she said.

The idea would be to brand it, not as “Jamaica’s Diamond League meet,” but as the Regional Diamond League meet, “with the outcome being measurable regionally,” she said.

Logistics aside, the event would seem to be quite appropriate for Jamaica, whose track and field athletes dominated the field at the recent London Olympics, led by Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

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