Doha, Qatar: International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe praised the Organising Committee for the World Championships in Athletics to be held in Doha this year for its preparations.
The Organising Committee under the chairmanship of HE Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) President Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al-Thani, and HE Vice-Chairman of the Committee Dahlan Jumaan Al Hamad has done a splendid job, and Coe expressed his appreciation to Qatar and its great efforts at the end of the two-day meetings of the IAAF Board of Directors held in Doha.
Earlier, HE Sheikh Joaan welcomed the IAAF Council to Doha, which will host the Worlds from September 27 to October 6.
HE Sheikh Joaan emphasised his and the country's commitment to staging a world-class athletics championship in Doha later this year. He also reiterated the work the Doha 2019 Organising Committee is undertaking to put operational plans in place and prepare for the Asian Athletics Championships in April, which will be a test event for the World Championships
Meanwhile, at the meeting, the IAAF approved major changes to Diamond League events from next year including reducing the number of events at each meeting from 32 to 24, officials said Monday.
Following a year-long review, the IAAF has also decided to cut down the length of each meeting from two hours to 90 minutes, said Jon Ridgeon, the British former hurdler who has chaired a working group looking at possible changes.
"Change is never easy but should, wherever possible, be done from a position of strength which is what we have done," said Ridgeon at a press conference in Doha, where the IAAF council has been meeting for the past two days.
Under the changes, from next year the longest distance track race in a Diamond League will be 3,000 metres.
The number of Diamond League meetings over the course of a season will also be reduced from the current 14 to 12.
And there will also be one season final, instead of two, from 2020.
The IAAF will also put more emphasis on out-of-stadium and city centre field events, added Ridgeon, as the sport seeks to attract bigger audiences.
The 24 events will be split equally between female and male events.
"We can make it (the Diamond League) even stronger and more relevant to the world our athletes and our fans live in today," said IAAF president Sebastian Coe.
The current Diamond League season -- which starts on May 3 in Doha -- will be the 10th edition of the competition.
The IAAF said that 360 million fans watched the Diamond League via broadcasts and there was $8 million (seven million euros) in prize money for athletes.
Earlier on Sunday, the IAAF Council also approved the qualification system and entry standards for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and the timetables for three World Athletics Series events to be held in 2020.
In the first session of the two-day meeting, HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani welcomed the IAAF Council to Doha, which will host the IAAF World Athletics Championships from September 27 to October 6 this year.
HE Sheikh Joaan, the president of the Local Organising Committee, emphasised his and the country's commitment to staging a world-class athletics championship in Doha later this year. He also reiterated the work the Doha 2019 Organising Committee is undertaking to put operational plans in place and prepare for the Asian Athletics Championships in April, which will be a test event for the World Championships.