New circuit planned to boost track and field in U.S.

EUGENE, Oregon (Reuters) - The United States will launch a new domestic athletics circuit next year in a bid to increase interest in the sport, organisers told Reuters. Organisers plan competitions in six cities leading up to a championship in Eugene, Oregon, Vin Lananna, president of TrackTown USA said on Wednesday. "We will have team scores and a national championship during the summer and we are going to really spark up the interest in building up to 2021," said Lananna, the driving force behind the 2016 IAAF world indoor championships in Portland and outdoor championships in Eugene in 2021. "If the 2021 world championships are just a big old track meet, then we will have squandered an opportunity." The circuit will be owned by investors and give top athletes an opportunity to compete without going to Europe. Lananna would not name the cities involved but said each would offer an 90 minutes of high calibre competition. The league is likely to begin shortly after the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene in July 2016. Negotiations are under way to televise the circuit, and Lananna said he was confident of finding a partner. The United States had a five-city American Track League circuit operated by agent Paul Doyle last year but only one meeting is planned in 2015, according to the league's website. (Reporting by Gene Cherry; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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