Diamond League season opener moved to Gateshead
The first leg of the 2021 Diamond League series will now be held in Gateshead, England on May 23 in the latest changes announced by organisers in the 2021 circuit’s calendar.
The meeting was initially scheduled to take place in Rabat, Morocco but was however cancelled owing to the ongoing coronavirus restrictions in the North African country.
Similarly, the Rome Golden Gala slated for June 10 will relocate to Florence from its traditional venue of Stadio Olimpico that is set to host European Championships.
At the same time, Oslo’s Bislett Games initially planned for June 10 has been postponed to July 1 due to local coronavirus restrictions in Norway where sporting activities have been suspended until mid-June.
The new date positions the Oslo meeting just three days before Stockholm’s BAUHAUS Galan on July 4, allowing athletes competing in both meetings to minimise travel around the Scandinavian events.
“This is an incredibly important year for our athletes as they prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and less than a year later the World Athletics Championships Oregon22. Competition and training are two very different things so the Wanda Diamond League and our other one-day meetings around the world will give athletes the opportunity to qualify for events, earn World Ranking points and prize money and benchmark their performances against the competition they will face in Tokyo and then Oregon in 2022.
“We are all working hard, in extraordinarily difficult and fast changing circumstances, to deliver events for the athletes rather than cancelling them. I would like to thank all our meeting organisers and the Diamond League Board for everything they are doing to deliver what is promising to be a strong and much needed programme of competition from April through to the final event in Zurich in September. Their passion for the sport and flexible and collaborative approach to the challenges should be applauded,” said Diamond League Chair, Sebastian Coe.
Unlike in 2020, this year’s Wanda Diamond League will be a full, structured series in which athletes compete for a place in the final and a shot at the Diamond Trophy.
In the first 13 meetings, athletes will earn points in a bid to qualify for the Final in Zurich on September 8th and 9th, where they have the chance to be crowned Wanda Diamond League Champion in their chosen discipline.
Organisers said the 2021 calendar remains subject to further changes depending on the global health situation in the coming months.
2021 Diamond League calendar
Gateshead May 23
Doha May 28
Rome/Florence June 10
Oslo July 1
Stockholm July 4
Monaco July 9
London July 13
Shanghai August 14
Eugene August 21
China2 August 22
Lausanne August 26
Paris August 28
Brussels September 3
Zurich September 8-9