April 23, 2020 / 11:39 AM / a month ago

Athletics: Diamond League postpones June events due to COVID-19 pandemic

(Reuters) - Diamond League events in Eugene and Paris have been postponed while the event in Oslo will be staged as an “alternative competition” due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers said on Thursday.

The events in Eugene and Paris were due to take place on June 7 and June 13 respectively, while Oslo’s meet is scheduled for June 11.

“Today, we are sad to announce the postponement of further meetings in Eugene and Paris,” Diamond League said in a statement.

“The Bislett Alliance today announced plans to host an alternative athletics competition under Norwegian coronavirus regulations on June 11, the original date of this year’s Oslo Diamond League meeting.”

The conventional competition format has been done away with for the Oslo event. Instead, athletes will take part in an hour-long event while observing Norway’s coronavirus regulations and social distancing protocols. Officials said the full programme is yet to be confirmed and subject to changes.

“This is really positive news for athletes and fans and promises, even in this early stage, to be another great night of athletics from the Bislett stadium,” World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said.

“Congratulations to the Oslo Bislett Games for dreaming this up and following it through, working within the pandemic guidelines set out in Norway.”

The next scheduled meet is to be held in London on July 4 followed by Monaco on July 10.

Diamond League events in Stockholm, Naples and Rabat that were scheduled for late May were postponed last month, while meets scheduled for Doha and an unspecified host city in China were also moved. [nL8N2BK3V9]

Reporting by Arvind Sriram and Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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