Kenya: Headache for AK as IAAF Makes Diamond League Changes

22 October 2019

Kenyan athletes and Athletics Kenya face a big challenge and long season ahead after the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) effected changes to the 2020 Diamond League.

Besides the Diamond League that will have 14 meetings include one grand finale, there will also be Africa Cross Country Championships, Africa Championships, World Under-20 and the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The Diamond League General Assembly on Monday agreed on 14 meetings that include one grand finale for the 2020 season, which includes all current meetings.

Gateshead will replace Birmingham as a venue, as Birmingham's stadium is being redeveloped for the 2022 Commonwealth Games so is not available to host the Diamond League.

TWO MEETINGS IN CHINA

There will be a second Diamond League meeting in China on May 10, which now means that the Diamond League will get to start in April in Doha and not in May as it has been the case.

The venue for the newly introduced event in China will be disclosed later and will be followed by Shanghai leg on May 16.

The General Assembly also reviewed the recently announced partnership with Wanda Sports Group and approved the partnership, which henceforth bore the second event in China.

"The new Diamond League format may bring challenges to the events where African athletes are good at," said AK president Jack Tuwei. "We are watching keenly."

AK director is charge of youth and development Barnaba Korir said that the changes will bring a major headache for the local calendar bearing in mind athletes competing in the DL are given priority.

"We really need to plan well with the Olympics, Africa Championships, Africa Cross and World Under-20 coming up. All these events all need trials hence Athletics Kenya and athletes including their coaches and managements must work together," said Korir.

TV PROGRAMME

Further work is being undertaken on whether each meeting is able to host 11 or 12 Diamond League disciplines in the set time frame and which events each meeting will host outside the 90-minute broadcast window.

A final decision on the disciplines will be made at the beginning of November 2019.

The IAAF will also launch a second international series of one-day meetings in 2020 (entitled the World Athletics Continental Tour), which will provide world-class competition, top flight world ranking points and earning opportunities for many more athletes, with a focus on those disciplines not featuring regularly in the Diamond League, and which will be broadcast around the world.

The world rankings system will be structured so that athletes in every discipline will earn the same level of points at their highest available one-day meeting series, whether in the Diamond League or the new tour.

Chairman of the Diamond League Board, Sebastian Coe, said: "The Diamond League is our shop window and we want to attract new fans with a fast, action-packed format that is commercially attractive to broadcasters and partners. That approach has already been endorsed by our new title sponsor Wanda.

"I am delighted that the Diamond League meetings have chosen to actively support the creation of the World Athletics Continental Tour as this will enable us to maintain strong international competition opportunities for all our world class athletes as they come through their continental structures."

The dates for the Diamond League meetings in 2020 are:

Doha - 17 April

China (venue to be advised) - 10 May

Shanghai - 16 May

Stockholm - 24 May

Rome - 28 May

Rabat - 31 May

Eugene - 7 June

Oslo - 11 June

Paris - 13 June

London - 4 July

Monaco - 10 July

Gateshead - 16 August

Lausanne - 20 August

Brussels - 4 September

Zurich - 11 September

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