On Tuesday morning, the Diamond League announced its amended 2020 schedule, which begins on August 14 in Monaco and ends October 17 in China. The league has been suspended since March, and the new dates remain conditional on local public health guidelines. Organizers said in a statement that “several events will be rescheduled, others cancelled as organizers continue to adapt the season in the face of the coronavirus crisis.”
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The new schedule
August: Monaco (14), Gateshead, U.K. (16) and Stockholm (23)
September: Lausanne (2), Brussels (4), Paris (6), Rome/Naples (17), Shanghai (19)
October: Eugene (4), Doha (9), China (17, venue tbd)
The major changes
The Diamond League, which has traditionally been structured as a series of meets where runners accumulate points towards qualifying for a final, will now be one-off events. The league said, “Given the current discrepancies in training and travel opportunities, it would be impossible to ensure a level playing field and a fair qualification system during 2020. Athletes will therefore not earn Diamond League points this season, and there will not be a single, 24-discipline final in Zurich as originally planned.”
There are also several cancelled events, which include London, Rabat, Morocco, and Zurich. The replacement locations are Gateshead and a second meeting in China, where the exact location has yet to be announced.
Each meet organizer will announce their schedules two months ahead of the date of competition.
Why this is important
Even though none of the marks set within this year’s Diamond League competition will count toward Olympic qualification, the league remains crucial for runners’ incomes and exposure. These events are responsible for the fastest times and biggest prize purses in running. If the events go as planned, this will be a great opportunity for runners to remind themselves what it feels like to compete and to earn some money on top of their (typically modest) base salaries. The new Olympic qualification period opens on December 1, 2020.