Legend Gebrselassie lashes out at IAAF over Diamond League changes

It is a sad decision that will disproportionately affect Ethiopia and Kenya, as well as East Africa as a whole,
Retired Ethiopian long-distance track and road running athlete Haile Gebrselassie, gestures during a press conference in New Delhi on February 24, 2017, ahead of The Delhi Marathon on February 26. (Photo by Money SHARMA / AFP)

Long distance legend Haile Gebrselassie has slammed the decision of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to limit the longest event in the Diamond League circuit to 3,000 metres.

The Ethiopian believes this will “disproportionately affect” Ethiopia and Kenya, two powerhouses of middle and long-distance events.

The 5,000m race is among events that have been scrapped after the IAAF made some sweeping changes in the Diamond League starting next year at its Council meeting in Doha on Monday.

“It is a sad decision that will disproportionately affect Ethiopia and Kenya, as well as East Africa as a whole,” Gebrselassie said.

“Some Asian countries have also been making strides in middle- and long-distance. At a time when the body needed to exert its maximum effort to boost athletics worldwide, it has taken a decision that is tragic and unfair.”

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The Diamond League celebrates its 10th season in May and currently features nine races for men and women, including the 3,000m steeplechase, 5,000m, and seven field events – high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump, shot put, discus and javelin.

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