European Athletics and USA Track & Field (USATF) have signed an agreement that will see a Ryder Cup-style match between Europe and the United States take place at the new-look Dinamo Stadium in Minsk next year.

The competition will be held in the Belarusian capital from September 9-10 ahead of the World Championships in Athletics, which take place in Doha, Qatar from September 28 to October 6.

The four divisions of the 2019 European Athletics Team Championships from August 9-11 will act as the qualifying event for the match and at least 10 Belarusian athletes are expected to represent Europe on home soil in Minsk.

Belarus has staged a number of major athletics events in recent years and Dinamo Stadium will be the home of track and field events when the city stages the 2019 European Games from June 21-30.

European Athletics president Svein Arne Hansen said he was highly impressed with all aspects of the European 10,000m Cup in Minsk in June 2017 and the Minsk Half Marathon is one of Europe’s fastest growing road races with 35,000 runners taking part this year.

Hansen added: “We are proud to announce there will be a match for the first time since the 1960s. We are going to include every track discipline up to the 3000m for men and women (excluding 4x400m). We will have all the throws, jumps and a 4x100m relay.

“There will also be mixed medley relay because there will be a mixed 4x400m on the programme at the Olympics in Tokyo 2020. There will be four athletes from each continent in every event competing for prize money.”

The match will take place in the newly renovated Dinamo Stadium, which was reopened in June and has the capacity to hold 22,000 spectators. First opened in 1934, Dinamo Stadium was used as a host venue during Moscow’s staging of the 1980 summer Olympic Games.

Prior to its renovation, capacity was reduced to around 34,000. The major improvement work has included a new roof covering 75% of the grandstands, new lighting and sounds systems, as well as enhancements to its structure.

President of the Belarus Athletic Federation, Vadim Devyatovskiy, said: “We are glad that Belarus has got a big honour to hold this historic major competition. We believe the stadium will be sold out. The match will give a huge boost to the further development of athletics in Belarus.”

Image: Lobiback