The Diamond League will have two end-of-season finals with a prize pool of $3.2 million (£2.6m) following changes to the structure of the competition announced by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
Under the new format, athletes will earn points in the first 12 league meetings of the season to qualify for the finals in Zurich or Brussels, where $100,000 (£80,000) will be up for grabs in each of the 32 disciplines, including $50,000 (£40,000) for each winner.
Athletes who finish second in their respective disciplines will earn $20,000 each (£16,000), with $10,000 (£8,000) awarded for third place, effectively turning the season into a championship-style race to reach the finals, which will each feature 16 events.
Previously, the winners in each of the disciplines were decided by how many points they accumulated during the season, irrespective of whether they won the final event.
"After seven seasons which have established the IAAF Diamond League as our premier circuit it is important to assess its impact and build for the future," IAAF president and the league's chairman Sebastian Coe said in a statement.
"These decisions are the first step to growing the attractiveness of the series."
WHEN DOES THE DIAMOND LEAGUE START?
The first meet is on May 5 and finishes September 1.
WHEN AND WHERE ARE THE MEETS?
|Doha||QATAR||5 May 2017|
|Shanghai||CHINA||13 May 2017|
|Eugene||USA||27 May 2017|
|Rome||ITALY||8 June 2017|
|Oslo||NORWAY||15 June 2017|
|Stockholm||SWEDEN||18 June 2017|
|Paris||FRANCE||1 July 2017|
|Lausanne||SWITZERLAND||6 July 2017|
|London||GREAT BRITAIN||9 July 2017|
|Rabat||MOROCCO||16 July 2017|
|Monaco||MONACO||21 July 2017|
|2017 IAAF World Championships||LONDON||5 August - 13 August 2017|
|Birmingham||GREAT BRITAIN||20 August 2017|
|Zurich||SWITZERLAND||24 August 2017|
|Brussels||BELGIUM||1 September 2017|
HOW DO ATHLETES QUALIFY FOR THE FINAL?
Each of the disciplines is staged four or six times before the final, with points earned in those meets. The top eight or 12 athletes (depending on the event) will get a spot in the final.
HOW TO FOLLOW ON EUROSPORT
Eurosport has LIVE coverage of 10 of the 12 initial league meetings (all except London and Birmingham), plus the two finals in Zurich and Brussels.
Catch the first event in Doha at 17:00 BST on Friday May 5 on Eurosport 1 and Eurosport Player.
WHEN CAN WE SEE USAIN BOLT?
While his schedule will remain tightly guarded until the season commences, Usain Bolt typically doesn’t make too many Diamond League trips – in part due to injuries derailing his preparations in previous seasons. He featured just once in the run-up to the Rio Olympics last summer – and even that was an invitational 200m in London.
However, his decision to axe the 200m for his swansong season should mean we see far more of the eight-time Olympic champion (…we’re looking at you, Nesta Carter) in 2017. He’s already outlined his plans to take it easier as he prepares to bow out of the sport, meaning injuries are less likely to wreak havoc.
With his focus on the 100m, the Jamaican has six Diamond League events to pick and choose from: Doha, Eugene, Oslo, Stockholm, Lausanne and Monaco. He will also likely run an invitational in London – the setting for this summer’s IAAF World Championships.
He’s already said he’s retiring at the end of those championships, meaning he will not feature in a Diamond League finale… unless he’s tempted by a money-spinning head-to-head with 400m world record holder Wayde van Niekerk? Don’t rule it out…
If you’re sad that Bolt is leaving the sport, don’t worry. Jamaica already has a replacement – even if it’s four years until her 16th birthday. Check out 12-year-old Brianna Lyston in action below!
With additional reporting from Reuters
Read the original article on Eurosport: Diamond League preview: Calendar, TV schedule, Usain Bolt, new rules and more