NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 17 – The opening three legs of the 2020 Diamond League season scheduled for Doha and Shanghai has been moved to a later date, organisers announced in a bid to mitigate measures on the spread of coronavirus.
The traditional first leg was slated to be hosted in the Qatar capital on April 17 while China, where the virus originated was to host the second leg on May 16 in Shanghai.
“Due to the growing number of countries affected by the COVID-19 virus, the first three meetings of the 2020 Wanda Diamond League season, scheduled for 17th April in Qatar, 9th and 16th May 2020 in China, cannot be held as planned. This decision was made in close consultation with organising committees, local authorities and sports governing bodies,” organisers announced in a statement.
Qatar has banned entry of a number of countries and the government in Doha has suspended all national and international events for a period of 30 days.
While the number of new infections is now decreasing in China, the fact remains that preparations for the meetings have been set back by several weeks and the closed borders and travel restrictions make it impossible to organise international top level competitions.
The current plan is to stage the Shanghai event August 13 while new dates for Doha and the second meeting in China remain to be announced.
It could be that they will be held after the Wanda Diamond League Final in Zurich from September 9-1, where the Diamond League Champions will be crowned, should the global situation allow.