Sports News

Diamond League to have full programme of 32 disciplines in 2021

(Reuters) - The Diamond League said on Friday that it plans to return to a full competition format next year with a complete programme of 32 disciplines if the global health situation allows it.

FILE PHOTO: Athletics - Diamond League - Zurich - Letzigrund Stadium, Zurich, Switzerland - August 29, 2019 General view of awards REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

A new format was introduced for the 2020 season with the number of disciplines brought down to 24 in an effort to create a faster-paced meeting that is more palatable to television viewers but the move was widely criticised.

But the Diamond League said it would reinstate among other events the triple jump, discus, 200m, 3000m steeplechase and 5000m in 2021.

“This has been a frustrating year for the athletes, meeting directors, broadcasters, sponsors and of course fans,” Diamond League Association chairman and the president of the sport’s governing body Sebastian Coe said in a statement.

“We’ve used this time ... to openly discuss issues, share ideas to grow the Diamond League and understand more about the pressures each group faces.

“... The process has helped remind all of us about why the WDL (Diamond League) is so special and I’m confident this will shine through to the fans in this coming season.”

The Diamond League said it hoped to better promote field events by introducing a new format - with a qualifying round and a final - for long jump, triple jump, shot put, javelin and discus.

Athletics Association president Christian Taylor, the Olympic and World triple jump champion, welcomed the move to include all 32 disciplines.

“We are delighted that athletes’ voices have been heard,” Taylor said. “Rest assured we will continue advocating for all stadium events to be included in the future.”

The Diamond League said a total of $7 million in prize money would be awarded over the course of the 2021 season, which would comprise 13 meetings in 12 countries and culminate in a final over two days in Zurich.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis and Alison Williams