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UK Athletics plans 'Twenty20-style' competition

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UK Athletics (UKA) has unveiled plans to establish a new midweek athletics competition that will see mixed teams of elite British male and female athletes take on each other in a two-hour event.

Cardiff International Stadium will host the pilot event of the Super 8 concept on 10 June, after which UK, and possibly European, cities will be invited to bid for a franchise and the right to stage events. A significant prize fund for both individuals and teams will be on offer as part of the tournament, which it is hoped will grow to eight events, with each franchise hosting an indoor or outdoor meeting.

Devised by former shot putter, Shaun Pickering, the Super 8 format will see cities go head-to-head in a format based loosely on events included in the decathlon, as well as relays. Cities will be expected to build a team of athletes who have a link to that city and the surrounding areas, although two "overseas" players will be permitted in order to allow franchises to sign foreign athletes.

Niels de Vos, UKA chief executive, said: "For athletics to be successful at an elite level, it is essential that we have the strongest possible mix of domestic competitions. It is also important to present that competition in a style that is attractive to TV, sponsors and the public. “The Super 8 format is also designed to be adopted by schools where time pressure on the curriculum makes the staging of a full scale athletics matches increasingly difficult. The two-hour format of Super 8 can be adopted for inter-class or inter-school competitions with boys and girls competing together in the same team."

The teams for the pilot event at Cardiff will be determined and managed by UK Athletics, which will also act as the final selection opportunity for the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team for the European Team Championships in Portugal in June.

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UK Athletics (UKA) has unveiled plans to establish a new midweek athletics competition that will see mixed teams of elite British male and female athletes take on each other in a two-hour event.
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