The International Association of Athletics Federation have received heavy criticism after dropping the 5000m from the Diamond League series.
This week, the organisation announced plans to scale back the series to 12 meetings plus a finals event, with 24 disciplines at each meeting – 12 for men and 12 for women.
The 10,000m had previously been dropped, meaning the 3000m steeplechase is now the longest race on the event.
The move has drawn ire particularly from representatives of Ethiopia and Kenya, two nations with big success at distance running, with accusations that the IAAF are trying to get rid of long-distance running. “They want to kill long-distance running,” two-time 10,000-meter world champion Moses Tanui of Kenya said. “I think (the reason) is the dominance of our athletes in long distances.”
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Ethiopia expressed their opposition on official grounds with track federation interim president writing a letter to IAAF president Sebastian Coe. “We totally disagree with the decisions made,” she wrote. “(It’s) not fair to countries like ours who are very competitive in long-distance running, and these distances are our cultural sports and also our identity.”