Gateshead in UK steps in to host Diamond League opener
Gateshead has been named as a second UK host of a leg of athletics' 2021 Diamond League, stepping in to replace Rabat in Morocco for the season opener of the international flagship grand prix series.
The city in north-east England will stage the event on 23 May.
This comes after Rabat withdrew due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With the improvement in the health situation, UK Athletics is hopeful that spectators will be able to attend the Gateshead event.
London is already due to stage a Diamond League meeting on 13 July.
Last year, the legs in London and Gateshead were both cancelled because of Covid-19.
The Diamond League is set to comprise 14 events, concluding in Zurich in Switzerland on 9 September.
Meanwhile, meetings in Italy and Norway have been relocated and/or rescheduled to comply with local coronavirus regulations and ensure they can go ahead.
The Pietro Mennea Golden Gala in Rome, on 4 June, has been switched to the Stadio Luigi Ridolfi in Florence, Italy, on 10 June, while the prestigious Bislett Games in Oslo have been delayed to 1 July.
Sebastian Coe, president of World Athletics and chair of the Diamond League, said: "We are all working hard, in extraordinarily difficult and fast changing circumstances, to deliver events for the athletes rather than cancelling them. I would like to thank all our meeting organisers and the Diamond League board for everything they are doing to deliver what is promising to be a strong and much needed programme of competition from April through to the final event in Zurich in September. Their passion for the sport and flexible and collaborative approach to the challenges should be applauded.”
The other Diamond League hosts this year comprise Doha in Qatar, Stockholm in Sweden, Monaco, Shanghai in China, Eugene in Oregon, USA, China (city to be confirmed), Lausanne in Switzerland, Paris in France and Brussels in Belgium.