Diamond League hit by coronavirus concerns


Hellen Obiri wins the 3000m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha (PHOTO/IAAF/...
Hellen Obiri wins the 3000m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha (PHOTO/IAAF/Deca Text & Bild)

In Summary

  • Kenyan athletes continue to count losses as the organisers of the World Athletics Diamond League postponed the opening three legs of the 2020 season over fears of coronavirus pandemic
  • The opening leg slated for Doha, Qatar in April 17 as well as the second meet slated for China in May 9 have since been postponed to a later date

Kenyan athletes continue to count losses as the organisers of the World Athletics Diamond League postponed the opening three legs of the 2020 season over fears of coronavirus pandemic.

The opening leg slated for Doha, Qatar in April 17 as well as the second meet slated for China in May 9 have since been postponed to a later date.

The third meet that was scheduled for Shanghai, China on May 16 has been postponed to August 3.

The new development comes as a big blow to Kenyan athletes who were set to kick start their season at the Doha meet in preparation for the Olympic Games.

World 1500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot alongside Commonwealth Games champion Elijah Manangoi are among athletes who were expected to grace the opening meet in Qatar.

In a statement released by the organisers on Tuesday, the decision was reached after consultations with local authorities and sports governing bodies.

“Due to the growing number of countries affected by the COVID-19 virus, the first three meetings of the 2020 Wanda Diamond League season, scheduled for 17th April in Qatar, 9th and 16th May 2020 in China, cannot be held as planned,” read part of the statement.

The new dates for Doha and the second meeting in China remain to be announced. It could be that they will be held after the Wanda Diamond League Final in Zurich from 9th through 11th September where the Diamond League Champions will be crowned.

Kenyan athletes continue to be hit hard by the global spread of the virus with major competitions already cancelled or postponed.

Major marathons including Boston and London that were set for next month have already been rescheduled to September and October respectively.

The fate of the Olympic Games is however yet to be known with organisers insisting that the Games primed for July 24-August 9 in Tokyo, Japan will proceed as planned.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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