In Summary
  • Tuwei said making the changes without broad consultations is tantamount to dictating things, hence not good for athletics.
  • “You can’t come up with such drastic changes without even informing members on time to make adjustments,” said Tuwei. “We shall make our presentation to IAAF.”
  • Tuwei said that they have been encouraging athletes to take on track events and the move my IAAF will send most of the athletes to road running.

Proposed changes to the Diamond League that will knock out long distance races like 5,000m starting next year will be a major blow to Africa and athletics in general, Athletics Kenya (AK) President Jackson Tuwei said on Tuesday.

Tuwei said that AK will send a strong protest to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), besides marshalling support from the rest of Africa to halt the changes.

The 5,000m race is among events that have been scrapped after the IAAF made some sweeping changes in the Diamond League starting next year at its Council meeting in Doha on Monday.

The Diamond League will now have reduced meetings from 14 to 12 besides 24 disciplines, a reduction from the 32 with the longest distance being 3,000m.

“Long distance races on track is where Africa’s strength is and we have been encouraging and getting more athletes to run 5,000m and 10,000m races,” said Tuwei in a telephone interview.

“As much as we want to make changes, we need to be broad in our thinking.”

Tuwei said making the changes without broad consultations is tantamount to dictating things, hence not good for athletics.

“You can’t come up with such drastic changes without even informing members on time to make adjustments,” said Tuwei. “We shall make our presentation to IAAF.”

Tuwei said that they have been encouraging athletes to take on track events and the move my IAAF will send most of the athletes to road running.

“This is not a good show for athletics. We should be striving to promote track races,” said Tuwei, who promised to discuss the issue during the Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) meeting next month in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.

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