Cuts to Diamond League programme triggers global backlash

By November 07, 2019
2018 Diamond League champion Fedrick Dacres will not be able to earn on the Diamond League circuit come next season. 2018 Diamond League champion Fedrick Dacres will not be able to earn on the Diamond League circuit come next season.

There has been a significant backlash against the IAAF’s decision to cut eight events – four male and four female – from the Diamond League circuit for the upcoming season.

The decision cut the 200m, discus, and triple jump and the 3000m steeplechase from the Diamond League for the 2020 season, the IAAF said, is based on research conducted “in China, France, South Africa and the USA; post-event surveys in Belgium, Great Britain and Switzerland and click-throughs on Diamond League social media videos during 2019.”

The global backlash was immediate with a number of international track and field stars making their voices heard on the contentious issue.

“Confused…the latest Diamond League research has shown that the 200m is one of the most popular disciplines. However, the 200m has not been included in the 24 Diamond League disciplines…Seriously?” said 2015 World Champion Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands.

Will Claye of the United States, the 2019 World Championships triple silver medallist, posted a video on his Twitter page declaring: “Word on the street is that the triple jump is not entertaining enough to be in the Diamond League, so I am going to have to full-time artiste y’all. New music coming soon.”

Closer to home, Julian Robinson, who coaches Fedrick Dacres, the World Championship silver medallist and the 2018 Diamond League champion, said the move by the IAAF is regrettable.

“The decision is disappointing and it may affect negatively the development of the marginalized events in places like Jamaica, Kenya and Ethiopia etc,” he told Sportsmax.TV on Wednesday.

Kerrylee Ricketts, who coaches Shanieka Ricketts, the 2019 Diamond champion, who won the silver medal in the triple jump in Doha, was even more cryptic.

“Athletics just lost fans from four disciplines. How is this building the sport? @rickettsshanieka competed at the Diamond League final about two hours before the Diamond League final programme actually started, yet as you can see in the video (he posted on Instagram) fans still came out early to watch the women’s triple jump final. However, the IAAF says the event isn’t exciting.

He even makes a case for the triple jump to receive more air-time as opposed to being cut.

The event should actually be commended for filling the stands even hours before the main event starts,” he said, “not just at finals but most of the other meets. Also the fact that this event isn’t normally televised but still manages to attract fans worldwide, imagine how much more fans would be accumulated should this event be televised at meets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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