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Track and field athletes can apply for money through new fund

European Athletics Championships

10 August 2018, Germany, Berlin: European Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium: Triple jump, Men, Qualifications: An athlete waits for the start with the baton. Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpa (Photo by Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images)

picture alliance via Getty Image

Track and field athletes who have lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic can apply for financial support through a new fund.

Hicham El Guerrouj, the 2004 Olympic 1500m and 5000m champion and mile world-record holder, brought the idea to World Athletics. That organization, along with the International Athletics Foundation (IAF), established a $500,000 fund. Additional money could be raised.

Applications can be submitted through continental track and field associations, such as the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC).

“I am in constant contact with athletes around the world, and I know that many are experiencing financial hardship as a consequence of the shutdown of most international sports competition in the last two months,” World Athletics president Seb Coe said in a press release. “Our professional athletes rely on prize money as part of their income, and we’re mindful that our competition season, on both the track and road, is being severely impacted by the pandemic. We are hopeful that we will be able to stage at least some competition later this year, but in the meantime we will also endeavor, through this fund and additional monies we intend to seek through the friends of our sport, to help as many athletes as possible.”

Meets into June on the sport’s top professional circuit, the Diamond League, have been postponed.

A June 11 Diamond League stop in Oslo has been reorganized with fewer events and fewer athletes with no fans. It was renamed from the Bislett Games to the Impossible Games.

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