(Reuters) – Eight disciplines have been axed from the core programme of the 2020 Diamond League season, reducing the number to 24 — 12 each for men and women — to cater to a 90-minute broadcast window, the IAAF said on Wednesday.
The Diamond League conducted research to decide which disciplines should be a part of the 2020 season and concluded that the men’s and women’s 200 metres, discus throw, triple jump and 3000m steeplechase will not be contested.
While the 200 metres was excluded as organisers felt it would be too congested alongside the 100 metres in an Olympics year, the other field events were the least popular disciplines in the survey.
The 100 metres, long jump and high jump turned out to be the three most popular disciplines in online and post-event surveys conducted across several countries. They are part of the core programme and will appear at all meetings and the final.
“Following a detailed review of the schedule for the 90-minute broadcast window of the Diamond League, both the 200m and the 3000m steeplechase will be included in 10 meetings (5 male and 5 female) in the 2020 Diamond League season,” the IAAF said in a statement.
“Two meetings will also feature discus and triple jump (1 female and 1 male). However, none of the four disciplines will feature in the Diamond League final in 2020.”
The 2020 calendar consists of 14 meetings and one final in Zurich.
Last month, Diamond League officials agreed to add a 15th meet to its 2020 season in China as part of a partnership with Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group who agreed to a 10-year deal to become the title sponsor of the circuit.
“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,” IAAF president and Diamond League chairman Sebastian Coe said.
“However, we understand the disappointment of those athletes in the disciplines not part of the 2020 Diamond League season.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)