Kenya to protest IAAF changes on Diamond League

Athletics Kenya (AK) president Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei has said they will lodge a formal complaint in protest the new changes instituted on the Diamond League structure by IAAF.

In the new changes announced by the world governing body on Monday, the 5000m and 10,000m races will be scrapped off the Diamond League beginning next year with the longest distance competition being the 3,000m.

According to Tuwei, the new development will greatly disadvantage not only Kenya but the whole region whose strength lies in the long-distance races.

“We have received the communication from IAAF with a lot of concern, but we are going to take it up I am sure we will present our case and we trust that IAAF we listen to us not only as a country but as a region and as a continent,” said Tuwei.

Eastern African countries including Kenya, Ethiopia and most recent Uganda has dominated the world scene in the long-distance races and thus Tuwei is equally concerned with the consequence that will have on the young talents.

Tuwei has however called for patience from stakeholders as they engage IAAF on the matter.

“We will not like to lose that talent and effort and what God has given us. What I am assuring you is that we will present our case and let us hope everything will be okay,” added Tuwei.

Also, among the other changes instituted at the Councils meeting in Doha is the reduction of the events from 32 to 24 with the meetings also set to drop from 14 to 12.

Similarly, the council has introduced single final event that will feature all the 24 disciplines unlike previously where two final meetings were held.

Already Kenya neighbours and fellow long-distance powerhouse-Ethiopia has launched a formal complaint to IAAF protesting the changes. In a letter seen by Citizen Digital signed by Derartu Tulu who is the Interim president of Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) the federation slammed the changes.

“I am writing concerning the recent decision passed by IAAF Council approving the 2020 Diamond League…. the news regarding the decision passed is a great shock to our federation as it didn’t consider the opinion of member federations…the federation calls for reconsidering the decision again…,” part of the letter read.

According to IAAF the changes made are meant to improve the event as it commemorates a decade since its inception.

“The IAAF Diamond League is the way millions of sports fans engage with athletics on a top level every year. It is a strong circuit that is celebrating its 10th year but we can make it even stronger and more relevant to the world our athletes and our fans live in today,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe.