AK: Diamond League will mess Olympics preps

Thursday, October 24th, 2019 07:46 |
Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech during the 2019 Shanghai Diamond League. PD/AGENCIES

Athletics Kenya senior vice president Paul Mutwii has lamented about the 2020 IAAF Diamond League calendar, saying it is likely to affect Kenya’s preparations for the Olympics Games.

The Diamond League General Assembly settled for 14 meetings in the Diamond League that include one grand finale for the 2020 but Mutwii feels the long season will not be good for the country seeking to be ready in time for the Tokyo Games.

“You realise that besides the Diamond League, we shall also have the Africa Cross-Country Championships, Africa Championships, World Under-20 in Nairobi before the Tokyo Olympic Games,” said Mutwii.

“Being big events, we shall need to be very careful starting with getting everyone involved ready for the trials and camp thereafter,” added Mutwii, who doubles up as the competitions chairman. With the changes, the Diamond League will now start in April in Doha and not May as from previous editions.

The other change will see China host two meetings, the first on May 10 in a yet to be disclosed venue and the second in Shanghai on May 16. Another change will see Gateshead in England replace Birmingham as a venue, as the UK stadium is being redeveloped for the 2022 Commonwealth Games so is not available to host the Diamond League.

The IAAF will also launch a second international series of one-day meetings in 2020 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.

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