National athletes face dilemma after reduction of events on DL calendar

Report by RJRGLEANER Communications Group Sports Reporter Jordan Forte

There is uncertainty among many of the nation's athletes following the removal of four events from the 2020 IAAF Diamond League calendar. Some of the athletes say they are now facing a dilemma. Following the IAAF’s decision to remove the triple jump, discus, 3000 metre steeplechase and 200m from next year's Diamond League calendar, athletes have started to speak out.

Two of Jamaica's medallists from the most recent World Championships in Doha have seen their events cut from the programme. Fedrick Dacres, the World Championships silver medallist from Doha, says the decision to exclude his pet event discus throw, came as a surprise especially because of how high the level of performances have risen over the last 2 seasons:

Another World Championships silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts has also seen her event, the triple jump, cut from the programme. The 27 year old says the lack of television coverage has helped stifle the triple jump, as she says the event flew under the radar at last season’s Diamond League because of how it was broadcast.

President of the MVP Track and Field Club, Bruce James says his athletes have also expressed concerns. But perhaps the athletes who will be most affected by the decision are the ones who haven't yet made the breakthrough:

Basil Bingham was a standout at the junior level but hasn't yet made his Diamond League debut. Bingham says with Dacres having already tasted success on the circuit, he was particularly looking forward to Traves Smikle and himself performing on that stage. Ricketts says the changes have left the athletes in a quandary.

American 2-time Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor has launched an independent athletes commission as he leads the charge in trying to get the IAAF  to reverse its decision.



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