Seb Coe, who plans to run for the IAAF presidency next year, said track and field’s nine-day World Championships are “very long for young people,” there are too many Diamond League meets (14) and not enough head-to-head competitions between top stars.
“Nine days for the World Championships is very long for young people,” Coe said, according to L’Equipe, in comments translated by The Associated Press. “And it’s difficult to explain to people what’s going on in the stadium in order to follow all the events.”
In the Diamond League, track and field’s regular season series of meets every summer, top sprinters Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin have not raced against each other since June 6, 2013. Bolt missed most of 2014 due to foot surgery.
Bolt and countryman Yohan Blake, who went one-two in the London Olympic 100m, have not gone head-to-head in a Diamond League race since July 16, 2010.
“The program is not flexible enough to put the best talents on offer,” Coe said. “What will get my son to wake up before 11 a.m. [British time] on a Sunday morning? It’s [Roger] Federer vs. [Rafael] Nadal or [Nico] Rosberg vs. [Lewis] Hamilton.”
Coe, a four-time Olympic middle distance running medalist, was chairman of the London Olympic Organizing Committee and is currently an IAAF vice president.
Current IAAF president Lamine Diack plans to step down after his term ends in 2015. Coe and 1988 Olympic pole vault champion Sergey Bubka, another IAAF vice president, are expected to be the top candidates to succeed Diack.
The new president will be decided in August.