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Prestigious athletics event in quake-struck region is cancelled

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Prestigious athletics event in quake-struck region is cancelled
The event in Rieti in September 2014. File photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
10:24 CEST+02:00
Several former world records in athletics were set at the Rieti IAAF World Challenge event in the past, which has now been cancelled for the second year running because of a lack of sponsors following earthquakes in the region this and last year.

The high-profile Italian track and field meet in Rieti, scheduled for September 3, was on Thursday cancelled for the second year running.

The meet, part of the IAAF World Challenge series, was called off last season in the wake of the deadly earthquake that hit central Italy where Rieti is located.

Organisers said that this year the question was more of a financial one, explaining that they had "great difficulties in finding the means necessary to ensure the survival of one of the most prestigious and historic meets in Italian sport".

According to various Italian media, the cancellation was down to a number of sponsors pulling out.

Rieti has made its name on the global circuit thanks to its fast track and was a popular end-of-season venue for many athletes.

Kenyan David Rudisha set a then-world record of 1min 41.01sec in the 800 metres in 2010, while Jamaica's Asafa Powell timed 9.74sec in the 100m in 2007, a mark that remained in place until beaten by compatriot Usain Bolt at the Berlin world championships two years later.

READ MORE: Central Italian towns remember victims one year after deadly earthquake

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