by The Athletes' Commission

The World Athletics Athletes’ Commission welcomes the decision taken by the WDL today (4 December) to reintroduce the triple jump, discus throw, 200m and 3000m steeplechase as well as the 5000m back to its main programme. We are also delighted to see the return to a two-hour broadcast window.

Over the last year, the Athletes’ Commission together with World Athletics, the WDL and its stakeholders have been in extensive conversation, brainstorming ways to allow for all disciplines to become part of the WDL again and are delighted to see that the involvement of the global athletes’ body has led to these decisions being taken. While we are aware that not all disciplines are part of the WDL series, today’s decision is a step towards inclusion and equality across all events of our sport.

Following today’s WDL announcement, a lot of discussion is now focusing on the expansion of the “Final Three” format to all horizontal technical events (jumps and throws). For us, it is important to highlight our scepticism toward the concept and the benefits it is supposed to bring to our sport and has been an ongoing subject of discussion between us, the WDL and World Athletics. However, we understand that in order for the return of eight events together with the aim to allow all field events to shine in a fast-paced broadcast window, a change might be necessary.

As a compromise and in response to the concerns raised by athletes and fans, a Working Group on the subject has been established comprising of members of the WDL, meeting organisers, broadcasters, the Athletes’ Commission as well as independent athlete bodies such as the Athletics Association to evaluate the success of the “Final Three” format throughout 2021 and at the conclusion of the season.

We are grateful to both World Athletics and the WDL for not only allowing us to voice our opinions in new forums, but for listening, and in most instances taking our feedback into account when making decisions. Ultimately, we all have the same goal – a more popular sport – and while we do not always see eye to eye in how this can be achieved, we have taken leaps in communication and have opened a dialogue that we truly believe will only better the sport, athletes’ lives and the fans’ experience.