MARCH 3 - SEBASTIAN COE (pictured) today said that he was confident that that the new Diamond League series launched yesterday will help athletics regain its place in the public's affections.


Coe, who is the vice president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) as well being the chairman of London 2012, was heavily involved in the creation of the 12-meeting multi-million dollar series, which includes two British meetings.


Writing in his monthly column in the Daily Telegraph, the two-time Olympic 1500 metres champion said: "This has not been a painless process and it has meant international federation, promoter, athlete, agent and sponsors, all singing from the same hymn sheet of redemption.


"No change was not an option.


"We have lost market share and television coverage so that far too many core track and field events no longer have TV contracts and crucially the sport has gently slid off the radar screen of many young people, particularly in the developed world.


"There is in this change for me an enlightened self interest.


"Track and field is everyone's second favourite sport.


"The problem at the moment is that not enough people nominate it as their first.


"We need it to be back to its position of pre-eminence in London in 2012.


"I believe the new Diamond League in large part addresses these challenges.


"It is a unified response where the International Association of Athletics Federations will sit alongside the promoters of the one-day events in an attempt to drag back some of the lost territory.


"Both parties also recognise that, although European athletics still attracts the lion's share of sponsorship and television revenue, we have to broaden the global franchise to include meetings in the United States, the Gulf and the Far East on the circuit.


"It also meets the need to showcase all the athletics disciplines which the old format has not done and to provide the competitors with a better share of the financial spoils at the end of the year.


"The hard work has only just begun.


"Blueprints remain blueprints unless all the parties are prepared to toil to make this work.


"The Diamond League is only a start.


"But it is a good one."


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