The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Wednesday said it has introduced a major restructure of its Diamond League by adopting a championship style model.
A statement by the world athletics ruling body said this restructuring will see the finalists competing for a prize pool of $3.2 million.
“From next season, athletes will earn points in the first 12 IAAF Diamond League meetings to qualify for the two final meetings, where $100,000 will be at stake in each of the 32 Diamond disciplines, including $50,000 for each winner,’’ it said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in previous seasons, athletes accumulated points throughout the IAAF Diamond League season.
This culminated in the overall winner of each of the 32 events being the athlete with the most points irrespective of whether they won the final.
The season is now a race to reach the finals with the winners crowned as IAAF Diamond League Champions.
As in a championship, the performance of athletes in the final alone will determine who the champion will be and the prize money won.
The IAAF Diamond League finals will now offer a dramatic showdown between the world’s best athletes, a true climax to a four-month race across four continents.
Sebastian Coe, IAAF President and chairman of the Diamond League AG, commented on this by saying the change was necessary.
“After seven seasons which have established the IAAF Diamond League as our premier circuit, it is important to assess its impact and build for the future.
“These decisions are the first step to growing the attractiveness of the series.”
NAN reports that the prize money structure for each of the 32 events will see the first-place winner with $50,000, first runner-up with $20,000 and second runner-up with $10,000.
The fourth-place winner will get $6,000, while $5,000, $4,000, $3,000 and $2,000 will be for the fifth-place winner to the eighth-place winner respectively.
Meanwhile, in the horizontal jumps and throwing events, there will be a return in 2017 to six attempts for all athletes.
This follows last season’s experimental format where all athletes were given three attempts but with only the top four athletes being given three further attempts.(NAN)