Kenyan specialty 3000m steeplechase dropped from IAAF Diamond League
World athletics governing body the IAAF on Wednesday announced that 3000m steeplechase will not feature in the Diamond League Final next year.
The 200m, triple jump and discus for both men and women have also been dropped from the series.
Popularity of athletes, head-to-head competitions and excitement of the individual competition were cited as reasons for the choice of the most popular events in the Diamond League survey which was conducted this year.
IAAF said that 24 disciplines – 12 male and 12 female events – would form the core of all meetings in the series, which will incorporate 14 meets and a final, from next year.
According to research carried out by the Diamond League, the discus, triple jump and 3000m steeplechase sit towards the bottom of the list when it comes to most popular events.
The most popular disciplines are 100m, long jump, high jump, followed by the pole vault, 200m and 400m.
IAAF said that following a review of the schedule for the 90-minute broadcast window of the Diamond League, the 200m and the 3000m steeplechase will be included in 10 meetings (five male and five female) in the 2020 Diamond League season, including Oslo, Rome and Doha, while two meetings will feature the discus and triple jump (one female and one male).
However, none of those four disciplines will feature in next year’s Diamond League Final, to be held in Zurich.
“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,” said IAAF president and Diamond League chairman, Sebastian Coe.
This will come as bad news for Kenya, whose athletes have dominated 3000m steeplechase races across all global championships.
Over the years, Kenya has produced an endless chain of athletes who have excelled over the event.
The current Kenyan steeplechase sensations are Conseslus Kipruto – the reigning Olympic champion and two-time world champion – and women’s world record holder and world champion Beatrice Chepkoech.