Diamond League gets second China meet

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail SHINE, October 23, 2019
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Omar McLeod (2nd L) of Jamaica competes in the men's 110m hurdles final during the Muller Birmingham Grand Prix & IAAF Diamond League event at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, Britain on Aug. 18, 2019. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

The Diamond League international athletics series will expand to 15 meetings next season with an additional event in China, organizers have announced.

The International Amateur Athletics Federation said in a statement that 15 meetings will be staged between April 17 and September 11, one more than this year with an additional date in China at a venue yet to be decided.

The Stockholm Diamond League meeting is retained despite a plan announced earlier this year to exclude it for 2020 in a bid to streamline the series while widening its appeal.

A decision to replace the traditional two-meeting finals of the league by one finals meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, is maintained, with Brussels remaining on the circuit as a non-finals meeting. Zurich will host the finals on September 11.

The second event in China, scheduled for May 10 in addition to the Shanghai meeting a week later, follows the announcement of a new sponsorship deal with China's Wanda Sports Group, the statement said.

The season starts as usual in Doha, Qatar, although the date has been moved to April 17 from a usual early-May slot.

Other changes include Gateshead replacing Birmingham as the second stop in England. The Birmingham stadium is being renovated for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The only American stop is on June 7 at Eugene, Oregon, the 2021 world championships host.

To entice television viewers, meetings will have a 90-minute international broadcast slot instead of two hours. It will focus on 11 or 12 disciplines.

"The Diamond League is our shop window and we want to attract new fans with a fast, action-packed format that is commercially attractive to broadcasters and partners," said IAAF president Sebastian Coe.

"That approach has already been endorsed by our new title sponsor Wanda."

The IAAF says it is creating a second-tier World Athletics Continental Tour series promoting events edged out of Diamond League broadcasts.

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