The United States of America recorded a comprehensive victory in the inaugural edition of the Athletics World Cup after dominating the second day of the event in London on Sunday.
It might have lacked the prestige and visibility of football’s World Cup final earlier in Moscow, hindered by the absence of many of track and field’s most recognisable names and an unfortunate clash of dates with the final of the greatest sporting show on the planet.
Yet reasonable crowds, compared to much of the Diamond League circuit, and a rapid format with audience appeal, is worth extending, according to IAAF president Sebastian Coe, with three nations understood to have expressed interest in staging the next scheduled edition in 2020.
“I’ve been very clear that I want new things to be tried,” he said.
“They are not always going to work out from the word go but that can’t inhibit us from going ‘we tried, it didn’t do everything so we go back to the same old thing’.
“There is a lot of work being done on the calendar and the Diamond Leagues. But while we’re working that out, I didn’t want the sport just to stop doing creative things.
“We will figure things out. They’ve already had interest in this from other cities. But I’m really pleased UK Athletics have taken up the challenge.”
The USA were virtually unopposed in landing the platinum winners trophy on a final tally of 219 points.
They were well clear of Poland in second on 162 with the hosts consigned to third place when their men’s 4x400 relay team were disqualified prior to the concluding event when first leg runner Cameron Chalmers pulled a hamstring in the warm-up.
Holding a 24-point advantage overnight, the Americans kept extending their margin with Paul Dedewo running a personal best of 44.48 seconds to win the men’s 400m.
Kenny Selmon took the men’s 400m hurdles and Vashti Cunningham leapt to a season’s best of 1.96m to reign in the women’s high jump before their triumph was rounded off in the men’s 4x400.
Elsewhere, Jamaica’s Tyquendo Tracey recorded a lifetime best of 10.03 seconds to win the men’s 100m with South Africa’s world champion Luvo Manyonga taking victory in the men’s long jump with a leading effort of 8.51m.
However at the conclusion, it was the Americans who took a lap of honour amid the fireworks at the London Stadium which will also host the next leg of the Diamond League circuit next weekend.
And among those in action, there appeared to be a consensus that the Athletics World Cup is an idea that could be replicated or extended in the future.
“This sport needs one thing and that’s more exciting events and this was certainly that,” said Hendricks.
“I know it conflicted with the soccer World Cup but to have this chance to come together as a national team is really cool.
“Because what is great to have is competition when you have people in different vests competing against one another rather than just individuals in identical vests out there.
“And I think in future editions, you’ll see this grow and more people will want to be there. And I know I’d want to be a part of it.”
1. USA, 219 points, 2. Poland 162, 3. Great Britain and Northern Ireland 155, 4. Jamaica 153, 5. France 146, 6. Germany 137, 7. South Africa 135, 8. China 81