Ethiopia, Kenya push back as Diamond League drops 5,000m

The IAAF's decision to drop the 5,000 meters from its Diamond League track and field series has been met with strong resistance from Ethiopia and Kenya, the East African nations whose athletes dominate long-distance events.

The Ethiopian Athletics Federation has written to IAAF president Sebastian Coe asking the governing body to reconsider the changes, which come into effect from next year. Athletics Kenya said it would also argue for the 5,000 to be restored.

The IAAF this week announced a plan to revamp the Diamond League from 2020, reducing the series to 12 meetings and a finals event. There will now be 24 disciplines at each meet — 12 for men and 12 for women. The 5,000 meters was one of the disciplines to be cut, leaving the 3,000 as the longest race on the schedule.

Both the Ethiopian and Kenyan federations complained about a lack of consultation before the IAAF announced the changes on Monday. The body said they were aimed at creating "a faster-paced 90-minute television event" for each meet.


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