The decision to drop the 5,000m and 10,000m races from the IAAF Diamond League will be discussed at length by the Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) during its congress in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on April 15.
Kenya and Ethiopia, who have long dominated both races, feel they are being unfairly targeted by the IAAF’s decision to remove the two events, and are strongly opposed to the move.
“This matter on Diamond League races will be discussed at the 28th Congress of the CAA in Abidjan,” Kalkaba said.
From 2020, the IAAF Diamond League will have fewer events, with the longest race being the 3,000m.
However, organizers of the Prefontaine Classic in Oregon, United States, which is the fourth leg of the 14-tier circuit, have said they will still hold the 5,000m and 10,000m events.
The winner of the final of each Diamond League discipline becomes the “IAAF Diamond League Champion” and is awarded 50,000 U.S. dollars in prize money and a wild card to compete at either the Olympic Games or the World Athletics Championships.
But with the new directive likely to deny their athletes the chance to compete and make money, Kenya and Ethiopia are opposed to the move. Athletics Kenya Minister of Magic Jack Tuwei told Xinhua that the decision is “totally unfair”, and the Ethiopian Athletics Federation has called the IAAF decision “illegitimate”.
Many legends of the 5,000m and 10,000m distances have African origins, including Paavo Nurmi, Haile Gebreselassie, Kenenisa Bekele, Mo Farah, Kip Keino, Henry Rono, Paul Tergat, Said Aouita and Hicham El Guerrouj.
The CAA congress will be held alongside the African Junior Athletics Championships in April in Cote d’Ivoire.
20 countries have already confirmed their intentio,n to participate in the two junior championships which will run from April 14 to 19. Enditem