Kenyans Helen Obiri and Conseslus Kipruto will be forced to look for non-Diamond League races in order to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Obiri who specialises in 5000m and the rising king of steeplechase Kipruto are just but some of the athletes, mostly Africans, who will be affected by the decision of IAAF to reduce the number of races from 32 to 24 ahead of the 2020 season.
At the General Assembly on October 21 it was agreed that 14 meetings and a final will make up the 2020 season rather than the 12 plus a final originally envisaged, given the significant improvement that all meetings had achieved over the last two years and the signing of a title sponsor, Wanda Sports.
Interestingly, Athletics Kenya supported the move then unlike Ethiopia, one of the Africa countries whose athletes are gravely affected by the unpopular move.
AK has since changed their stance as Kenyan and Ethiopian middle distance athlete now stare in oblivion ahead of the Tokyo Summer Games with 3000m steeple chase and 5000m scrapped from the Diamond League finals.
According to a research, the most popular races in the DL are the 100m, long jump and high jump, followed by pole vault, the 200m and 400m.
As a result of the research, only 24 disciplines (12 male / 12 female) will form the core disciplines at all meetings; eight disciplines (4 male and 4 female) will not be contested during the 2020 Diamond League season.
These disciplines are the discus throw, triple jump and 3000m steeplechase -three events that currently sit towards the bottom of the research conducted– and the 200m which DL organisers felt would be too congested alongside the 100m, particularly in an Olympic Games’ year.
Following a detailed review of the schedule for the 90-minute broadcast window of the Diamond League both the 200m and the 3000m steeplechase will be included in 10 meetings (5 male and 5 female) in the 2020 Diamond League season, including Oslo, Rome, and Doha.
Two meetings will also feature discus and triple jump (1 female and 1 male). However, none of the four disciplines will feature in the Diamond League Final in 2020.
The highest scoring athlete in each of the eight disciplines named above will also win a wild card into the World Championships.
All disciplines will be reviewed at the end of the 2020 Diamond Leagues season and decisions on the 24 disciplines for 2021 agreed.
Diamond League Disciplines for 2020 season
- 100m/110m hurdles
- 400m hurdles
- Long Jump
- High Jump
- Pole Vault
- Shot Put