Tuesday 14 July, 2020

Paris and Eugene Diamond League meetings cancelled due to coronavirus

Jamaica's Danielle Williams, left, competes to win the Women's 100m Hurdles during the Diamond League Memorial Van Damme athletics event at the King Baudouin stadium in Brussels, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco).

Jamaica's Danielle Williams, left, competes to win the Women's 100m Hurdles during the Diamond League Memorial Van Damme athletics event at the King Baudouin stadium in Brussels, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco).

The Diamond League athletics meetings in Paris and Eugene have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers said on Friday.

The organisers also announced that the meeting at Gateshead in England, which was scheduled for August 16, has been postponed.

The Diamond League said in a statement that "the Meeting de Paris, provisionally scheduled for 6 September, will not take place this season. Following the latest government announcements on the organisation of major events in France, meeting organisers concluded that there is not enough time to organise a world-class international event in the French capital this year.

"Paris’s well-loved Wanda Diamond League meeting will return in August 2021, at a time when it is able once again to mobilise volunteers and welcome international stars.

The Diamond League event in Eugene, the 2020 Prefontaine Classic was scrapped  as the state of Oregon currently has a ban on large gatherings - including sporting events - and that restriction will be in place until at least the end of September.

"The ban, combined with the expected long term restrictions on international travel, make it impossible to host a world-class track and field meet in front of the Hayward Field faithful on 4 October," the statement said.

The Prefontaine Classic is to return in 2021 and provide the opportunity for the University of Oregon to properly introduce the new Hayward Field to track and field fans around the world.

The statement further said that "discussions are still ongoing in relation to the Muller Grand Prix Gateshead, which is no longer scheduled for 16 August. September 12 has been identified as a possible alternative date, however final confirmation cannot be given at this time due to UK Government guidelines and restrictions.

"Due to the ongoing global health situation and ever-changing regulations, the 2020 Wanda Diamond League calendar remains provisional and subject to further changes."

The meeting organisers, the Wanda Diamond League and World Athletics said that are "committed to staging competitions athletes can compete in and fans can enjoy as far as the global pandemic allows.

"The 2020 Wanda Diamond League will not be a structured series of events leading to a final as is usually the case. Athletes will therefore not earn Diamond League points this season, and there will not be a single, 24-discipline final in Zurich as originally planned."

Meetings were also canceled in London, Rabat, and Zurich - which was originally scheduled to host the season finale in September.

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