Triple jump king Taylor welcomes new Diamond League format


Double Olympic champion Christian Taylor is excited by the challenge a new "winner-take-all" Diamond League format will throw up as some of the world's top athletes prepare to start the season in Doha on Friday.

Organisers have introduced a new system for the competition, which will comprise of 12 meetings followed by finals in Zurich and Brussels.

Athletes competing in jump, throw and long distance disciplines will be able to accrue points in four qualifying meets, while other athletes will have six chances to pick up points over the season.

The leading eight or 12 will earn a spot in one of the two showdowns, getting the chance to win prestigious Diamond Trophies and US$50,000 in prize money.

Taylor has won five consecutive triple jump titles in the Diamond League and the American is hungry to claim another in a different manner.

"I'm a fan of the points, I'm a fan of the system. Diamond League is constantly changing in innovative ways. It presents new challenge and I'm always up for a challenge," he said.

"I think it adds to it, maybe it's different for me as a confident jumper, or whatever it may be. I like a little risk. It's a winner-take-all kind of deal."

Justin Gatlin and Andre De Grasse are among the star attractions on the track on the opening night.

Gatlin took silver ahead of De Grasse in the 100 metres final when Usain Bolt again took centre stage at the Rio Olympics last August, so the Canadian will be eager to turn the tables and make a statement in Qatar.

The women's 200m also promises to be gripping race, with Olympic champion Elaine Thompson coming up against Rio silver medallist Dafne Schippers and Veronica Campbell-Brown, while Caster Semenya, another Olympic champion, and Genzebe Dibaba are in the field for the 800m.

And there will not be a more popular winner on the night than Mutaz Essa Barshim if the high jumper's season takes off with a win in his homeland.