Track runners and their fans who were disappointed that the Diamond League is cutting the 5,000m event in 2020 received another blow today when it announced that the 200m and 3,000m steeplechase events are also out for the 2020 final. These events will be included only at Oslo, Rome and Doha Diamond League meets, but not the final in Zurich. The changes are intended to accommodate a shorter broadcast window of 90 minutes, based on a consumer survey on which events fans most want to see.
The 24 #DiamondLeague disciplines (12 male and 12 female) for 2020 have been decided.
— Wanda Diamond League (@Diamond_League) November 6, 2019
Though the 200m was not among the least favourite events (it was, in fact, the fifth most popular, according to the Diamond League’s own press release), sources claimed it would make the schedule “too congested” to stage the event along with the 100m. It appears the 3,000m steeplechase is being replaced with a straight 3,000m event, though no details were given.
This is insane https://t.co/ofCB8nC5Bf
— emma coburn (@emmajcoburn) November 6, 2019
Two field events (the discus and the triple jump) are also being cut. The remaining events now comprise a total of 14 track and field events (seven male, seven female) to be held at all Diamond League meets. They are:
- 100m/110m hurdles
- 400m hurdles
Maybe the Diamond League should scrap all races longer than 100m, and add a hand-timed 40-yard dash as a True Measure of Speed.
Gotta give fans what they want, right?
— Morgan Campbell (@MorganPCampbell) November 6, 2019
IAAF President Sebastian Coe said of the decision, “Our objective is to create a faster-paced, more exciting global league that will be the showcase for our sport. A league that broadcasters want to show and fans want to watch. However, we understand the disappointment of those athletes in the disciplines not part of the 2020 Diamond League season.”
RELATED: Diamond League drops 5,000m
Wow no 200m pic.twitter.com/ixgpjsiCy4
— Noah Lyles, OLY (@LylesNoah) November 6, 2019
Effectively the Diamond League is eliminating true distance events, the longest event now being the 3,000m.
Athletes like US steeplechaser Emma Coburn and 200m gold medallist Noah Lyles are among the most popular in the world, so it’s difficult to imagine their fans won’t also be disappointed to no longer see them compete in their preferred events. Coburn won silver at the World Championships in Doha in September, and Lyles won gold.