Pipe Dream - Mills rules out Diamond League status for Racers GP
Although he hopes the meet will grow to achieve its main purpose, which is to generate funds for the operations of his track club, meet director of Racers Grand Prix Glen Mills said that earning Diamond League status is not one of the goals of the three-year-old meet.
Mills, who has managed to attract some of the finest talents the sport has to offer over the past three years to compete at the meet, said that the Diamond League series, in its current state, is out of the reach of Jamaica.
"It is not just something that just pops out of the sky. The Diamond League in its current concept is out of the reach of Jamaica because of how it operates," Mills told The Gleaner. "In order for you to get a Diamond League meet, you would have to demonstrate to the Diamond League association that you have guaranteed funds that, at least for a certain number of years (five), you are able to guarantee that you can have the meet at the Diamond League level."
He continued: "The first requirement is the facility. The National Stadium is our best facility, and at the moment, it is not in Diamond League shape. We don't have a stadium that would be able to create the Diamond League atmosphere for the press and television. The lighting is not great for television either."
The veteran coach believes that local meets can still be successful without gaining Diamond League status as Jamaica has the foundation to organise and showcase high-class athletics. "What we want to do is provide a platform that we can showcase the high level of athletics that we have developed here in Jamaica, and we are a country with a huge appreciation for track and field," Mills explained.
The Diamond League series, the highest level of IAAF domestic competition, was formed in 2010 to replace the six-legged Golden League series, which took place in Europe only. The 15-meet series has worldwide appeal as it takes place across four continents.
Since its inception, only once has a meet been upgraded to Diamond League status. This is the Morocco leg, which took the spot of the Adidas Grand Prix in 2016.
"We are a long way from becoming that. So Racers Grand Prix's objective is not to become a Diamond League meet," Mills said.
The third staging of the meet is scheduled for Saturday at the National Stadium.