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Two down, several more to go!

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Diamond League updateAthleticsWorld.co.uk


Magnificent MonacoWell, I couldn't wait any longer and decided to sort out my first two Diamond League trips for 2012.

Brussels
was always going to be a given having been every year since 2004. Hotel and tickets duly booked (I went for my usual seats on the back straight by the Long/Triple Jump runway in Block D), the only aspect left to arrange is the Eurostar over from St Pancras International, which I'll get when tickets go on sale 120 days before the event (must make diary note for May 8th...).

I must add that it's excellent how the Brussels 'Memorial van Damme' meeting gets organised so quickly and efficiently straight after the previous event. Tickets are now on sale already for the 7th September meeting. The Belgian Beer Weekend, which is held annually in Brussels and always well worth visiting, is sadly scheduled for the weekend before on this occasion but the athletics is more than worth the trip.

Not generally one for sitting on my laurels, I took the plunge and booked Monaco shortly afterwards. I visited the area many years ago on a family holiday and promised myself I would return for a major athletics meeting - it doesn't get any better than a Diamond League event in the iconic Stade Louis II stadium.

With its modest capacity (compared to the likes of the Stadio Olimpico in Rome or Paris' Stade de France) of 18,500, which is sure to be packed once again to provide an intimate, buzzing atmosphere, and an unrivalled location in the centre of one of Europe's most famous resorts, this is one meeting I can't wait for. (I wonder if there'll be another scuffle at the end of the 3000m Steeplechase next year involving a certain pair of French athletes...?)

Another highlight will definitely be travelling from nearby Nice (where our hotel is situated) along the coastline by train to Monaco. This 25-minute trip provides stunning scenery and landscapes that will be a real feast for the senses. Two nights in Nice will give the chance to fully explore this cosmopolitan French city and all its charms.

Will be looking at Rome over next week or so and might add this to the Diamond League 'tick list'. That's the beauty of the Diamond League - world-class athletics in some of Europe's most beautiful cities is certainly a winning combination!

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