IAAF plans to raise gold standard for elite league jackpot

The elite Golden League series could be doubled to 12 meetings next year, taking the lucrative athletics circuit outside Europe with the creation of events in the United States, the Middle East and China.

The International Association of Athletics Federations is considering the expanded format for 2010, which could include meets in Eugene, Oregon; Beijing; and Doha, Qatar. European meetings in London; Lausanne, Switzerland; and Stockholm, Sweden, could also join the list.

Last year the $1m (£676,000) series jackpot was won by the 18-year-old Kenyan 800m runner Pamela Jelimo, who set three world junior records in winning at all six meetings. The IAAF advisory board will meet in the first week of next month to review proposals for private funding of the circuit, with a final decision expected in March.

The IAAF would negotiate over the summer with individual venues to decide which ones would be part of the new circuit. There is no guarantee that meetings in the current Golden League would be part of the new series.

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