By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2020 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
(17-Mar) — World Athletics officials announced today that the first three meets of the 2020 Wanda Diamond League would not be held as scheduled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The first meet, scheduled for Doha on April 17, is impossible to stage because “it is forbidden to enter Qatar from a number of countries and the government in Doha has suspended all national and international events for a period of 30 days,” World Athletics said in a written statement. The second and third meets –scheduled for a yet-to-be-determined location in China on May 9, and Shanghai on May 16– cannot take place even though the number of infections in China has finally decreased.
“The fact remains that preparations for the meetings (in China) have been set back by several weeks and the closed borders, travel restrictions, and the need to prioritize athlete safety make it impossible to organize international top level competitions,” World Athletics said.
So far, only the Shanghai meet has a potential new date: August 13. World Athletics said that they could be held at the end of the track season in September, but no final decisions have been made.
The next meet in the Wanda Diamond League calendar after Shanghai would be the Bauhaus Galan in Stockholm, schedule for May 24. So far, that meet has not been cancelled or postponed.
The Wanda Diamond League is the premiere tier of global, in-stadium athletics competitions, a series of 15 meets in 12 nations.