alexa IAAF move bad for sport - Daily Nation

IAAF move bad for sport

Friday November 8 2019

EDITORIAL
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The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has come under sharp criticism after it announced drastic changes to their Diamond League calendar next year.

The IAAF said in a statement this week that the 3,000m steeplechase, along with the 200m, will be held at selected meetings, including Oslo, Rome, and Doha, but outside the 90-minute broadcast window.

This means the two events will not be part of races culminating in the grand final at the end of the Series that earns athletes a tidy sum of money.

These changes come a year after striking off the 10,000m and 5,000m from Diamond League prime time, with only few meetings embracing the two long distance events.

While the IAAF wants to keep global track championship meets more entertaining for spectators by trimming down events to fit a 90-minute broadcast window, some moves will in the long run hurt athletics.

The IAAF should devise better ways of making these events exciting in terms of head-to-head competition and popularity of athletes rather than eliminate them.

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Most of the events targeted on track are where African countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Morocco have dominated.

This gives Africa countries, and especially the dormant Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA), something to think about on how to popularise the game and keep events they are popular in afloat.

Athletics Kenya has been silent on these issues and has opted to sit on the fence instead of coming out to strongly defend and support its athletes.

The move by IAAF should now pose a challenge to Africa countries to also start their own events and make them popular since sponsors of the Diamond League events in Europe are bound to come up with rules that only suit them.

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