Athletics: Lyles, Felix to star in border-spanning competition

Noah Lyles is slated to run the 200 metre.
Noah Lyles is slated to run the 200 metre.PHOTO: REUTERS

ZURICH (AFP) - World 200m champion Noah Lyles and multi-medal winning fellow American Allyson Felix will headline an ambitious track and field meet on July 9 that sees athletes competing in eight disciplines at seven venues across the globe.

Organisers of the Zurich Diamond League, cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, will host the televised 90-minute live event.

"We would like to present a live event at Weltklasse Zurich level even this year. Therefore, we have been looking for creative ideas and working on new formats," said co-meeting director Christoph Joho.

There will be eight three-way competitions, four for men and four for women, pitching Europe against the United States and the rest of the world.

There is a women's 150m race featuring six-time Olympic champion Felix, Bahamian Olympic 400m gold medallist Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Switzerland's 200m world bronze medallist Mujinga Kambundji. Kambundji will run in Zurich, Felix in California and Miller-Uibo in Florida.

"This new format will hopefully give the fans something fun to look forward to during a time that has been really difficult for everyone," said Felix.

Lyles is slated to run the 200m, while a rarely-run 100-yard sees Canada's multi-world and Olympic medal-winning sprinter Andre de Grasse up against Jamaica's Olympic 110m hurdles champion Omar McLeod and Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut.

American world record holder and current world 400m hurdles champion Dalilah Muhammad will compete in a hurdles race over 300m, while Greece's Ekaterini Stefanidi goes up against American Sandi Morris in the women's pole vault.

The men's triple jump features American world champion Christian Taylor and Pedro Pablo Pichardo, the Cuban-born two-time world silver medallist competing for Portugal.