Kenya, Ethiopia mull new series to counter Diamond League snub
Kenya and Ethiopia are mooting to start a lucrative regional athletics championship to counter a move by World Athletics to strike off long-distance races from the Diamond League.
World Athletics struck off 10,000m, 5,000m and the 3,000m steeplechase, which were dominated by Africa athletes especially from East Africa.
Kenya and Ethiopia are putting plans afoot to start their own version of Diamond League to keep the events alive.
Speaking in Eldoret at the close of a three-day seminar to enlighten over 300 elite runners on the impact of doping and its sensitisation, Ethiopian ambassador to Kenya Meles Alem said East African countries must start their own series of events to promote their own talents.
“A few disciplines have been excluded from the diamond league and so we have to look for ways we can bring these competitions to Kenya and Ethiopia and Africa at large,” said Alem on Saturday in Eldoret.
Kenya’s Sports Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohammed said the country will seek funds to support an Africa meeting.
The 14-leg Diamond League has stops in Asia, Europe and America with only one reserved for Africa in Rabat, Morocco.
World Athletics has retained most popular disciplines like the 100m, long jump, high jump, pole vault, 200m and 400m. The 800m, 1,500 and 3,000m flat have also been retained.
“These disciplines are major areas that Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda athletes prevail so we have to explore other avenues,” said Alem.
Athletics Kenya president Jackson Tuwei disclosed that Kenya and other African countries filed a joint protest to the World Athletics concerning the removal of the events from the Diamond League series.
Athlete manager Michel Boeting, who represents Olympic and World steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto, said it was important for the IAAF and the stakeholders in the sport, to work hard to make distance running more popular and understood. -Xinhua