In a move aimed at boosting interest in track and field, the United States has been awarded the 2006 Athletics World Cup, the sport's biggest team event worldwide.
The International Association of Athletics Federations, known as IAAF, said the World Cup would take place at a new facility at California State University in Dominquez Hills, near Los Angeles.
This will be the first time for the United States to host this team event, which is held every four years. It will be the first IAAF event on U.S. soil since the 1992 World Cross Country Championships in Boston.
Director of Communications Jill Geer told VOA Sports that USA Track and Field is thrilled with the decision. "USA Track and Field has been working really closely with the IAAF over the last several years, particularly with president Lamine Diack, on trying to bring this kind of event to the U.S.," she said. "The IAAF recognizes that American athletes are the most popular track athletes in the world so we need to have more events like this in the U.S."
The 2006 Athletics World Cup will also introduce a new format - the event will take place over four days instead of the current two-day format.
This year's World Cup begins Friday in Madrid, and features teams from the United States, Russia, Britain, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.