Athletics bosses approve major Diamond League changes

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

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Doha , Qatar (AFP) — The IAAF has approved major changes to Diamond League events from next year including reducing the number of events at each meeting from 32 to 24, officials said yesterday.

Following a year-long review, the IAAF has also decided to cut down the length of each meeting from two hours to 90 minutes, said Jon Ridgeon, the British former hurdler who has chaired a working group looking at possible changes.

“Change is never easy but should, wherever possible, be done from a position of strength which is what we have done,” said Ridgeon at a press conference in Doha, where the IAAF council has been meeting for the past two days.

Under the changes, from next year the longest distance track race in a Diamond League will be 3,000 metres.

The number of Diamond League meetings over the course of a season will also be reduced from the current 14 to 12.

And there will also be one season final, instead of two, from 2020.

The IAAF will also put more emphasis on out-of-stadium and city centre field events, added Ridgeon, as the sport seeks to attract bigger audiences.

The 24 events will be split equally between female and male events.

“We can make it (the Diamond League) even stronger and more relevant to the world our athletes and our fans live in today,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe.

The current Diamond League season — which starts on May 3 in Doha — will be the 10th edition of the competition.

The IAAF said that 360 million fans watched the Diamond League via broadcasts and there was $8 million (seven million euros) in prize money for athletes.

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