In recent weeks, the Wanda Diamond League has been forced to suspend a number of its meetings as a result of health and logistical concerns brought about by the global coronavirus crisis.
The meeting organisers, the Wanda Diamond League and World Athletics have remained committed to staging competitions athletes can compete in and fans can enjoy athletics as soon as the global pandemic allows.
With this in mind – and with an eye on the range of pandemic-related restrictions currently in place across the world, the decision has been made to propose an alternative calendar for the 2020 season.
This provisional calendar will see a number of Wanda Diamond League meetings go ahead as one-off, exhibition events, while others will be staged as adapted Wanda Diamond League meetings. There will be no events in July and the first half of August (other than National Championships where possible), and the season will instead be extended into October.
The 2020 Wanda Diamond League will not be a structured series of events leading to a final as is usually the case. Given the current discrepancies in training and travel opportunities, it would be impossible to ensure a level playing field and a fair qualification system during 2020. Athletes will therefore not earn Diamond League points this season, and there will not be a single, 24-discipline final in Zurich as originally planned.
The uncertainty over future government restrictions and timings in the different host countries requires flexibility and adaptability on the part of meeting organisers when planning, staging and offering competition opportunities to athletes.
Each meeting organiser will review and announce the format of their competition and which disciplines are included two months before the event takes place so they can work with the prevailing conditions set by their Governments.
This two-month window will also help to give athletes time to prepare mentally, stay motivated and adjust training for competition. Some meeting organisers might choose to stage their events in innovative, alternative formats and/or under social distancing regulations.
The new provisional dates for Wanda Diamond League events in 2020 are as follows:
In August: Monaco (14th), Gateshead (16th) and Stockholm (23rd).
In September: Lausanne (2nd), Brussels (4th), Paris (6th tbc), (Rome/Naples (17th), Shanghai (19th)
In October: Eugene (4th), Doha (9th), a second meeting in China (17th, venue tba).
The following events have been cancelled: Rabat (31st May, suspended in March), London (scheduled for 4th July) and Zurich (9th-11th September). The latter would have been staged as the Wanda Diamond League Final.
Due to the extraordinary situation in 2020 and the re-structuring of the entire season, Zurich has been granted by the General Assembly of Diamond League the right to stage the finals in 2021 and 2022.
This was possible after Eugene gave consent for the final of 2022 – previously awarded to them – to be shifted by one year to 2023.
For further detailed information on the events please visit the individual sites on www.diamondleague.com.
On the next meeting: The Bislett Alliance continues to work on an alternative athletics competition as a Wanda Diamond League exhibition event under Norwegian coronavirus regulations to be staged on 11th June, the original date of this year’s Oslo Wanda Diamond League meeting. – WANDA DIAMOND LEAGUE