Weltklasse Zürich 2021 in the stadium and in the city centre: Athletes praise atmosphere and quality
24. September 2021
The last major global athletics event of the 2021 season, the Weltklasse Zürich Meeting, was also the final of the Diamond League. It was a special event, as races were not only held in the Letzigrund Stadium, but seven of the 32 final races were held in the city centre at Sechsläutenplatz, situated next to the opera and the lake. 2,500 spectators were able to watch close up as the most important global athletics event after the Tokyo Olympics took place, energising not only the athletes but also providing the stage for sport to reach and inspire the general public.
The Swiss specialist Conica was engaged in building a new 560-metre running track specially for the Sechsläutenplatz in a record time of just two days, making it the longest mobile running track in the world to date. The synthetic surface for the Weltklasse Zürich was pre-produced and then rolled out in one go, rather than using the usual spraying technique. During the initial test-runs for Weltklasse Zürich it became apparent that fast speeds could be achieved, despite the sharper bends. And in the final, Francine Niyonsaba from Burundi, for example, won the 5000 metres in 14:28.98 minutes.
Julio F. Julio Fadel, Head of Marketing & Communication at Conica: “It’s been important for the athletes and visitors of sporting events to feel closer to one another, particularly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In many respects, Tokyo was a rather sterile event. It’s nice we have been able to create the antithesis of that event. We’ve talked to a lot of athletes who found Zurich great – both in terms of the atmosphere and the track experience.”
From Johannes Vetter to Michael Cherry – happy competitors
Even the German javelin thrower Johannes Vetter, who had criticised the javelin track in Tokyo, praised the conditions in Zurich. With his win in the Letzigrund Stadium, he was able to confirm that he was still on form at the end of the season – something that he was unable to do in Tokyo. Bosnian world silver medallist in the 800 metres, Amel Tuka, was also impressed by the track conditions. He praised the track for being fast and easy on his joints. Norwegian middle-distance runner Jakon Ingebrigtsen also enjoyed the conditions. And US athlete Michael Cherry described the track as fast and dynamic.
The result: In Zurich, two personal bests of the year and eight meet records were set by the athletes.