Last updated 5 months ago | By Dennis Okeyo and Agency
The gold meeting series will be held in four continents - Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.
Nairobi will be first African city to host the first World Athletics Continental Tour (Gold level), World Athletics announced yesterday.
The pilot year of the Sh200 million gold meeting series will now visit four continents – Africa, Asia, Europe and North America - with the first meeting at Nairobi’s Moi International Stadium on May 2, followed by Tokyo on May 10. The series will finish in Zagreb in September.
Both South America and Oceania will host Silver level meetings this year with a view to staging Gold level meetings in 2021.
With the completion of the gold meeting schedule for 2020, World Athletics has also finalised the discipline breakdown for each meeting with a broad events spread to maximise competition opportunities for athletes in all disciplines and all parts of the world.
World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said the impetus for creating the Continental Tour was to provide more competition and earning opportunities for more athletes.
“Between the Wanda Diamond League and the Continental Tour all disciplines will be catered for and more athletes will access top class competition,’’ he said.
Fittingly, given the tradition of African distance runners, Nairobi will stage the 3000m steeplechase, 5000m and 10,000m for men and women as part of its programme. This is expected to be the highest quality senior international meeting to be held in Kenya’s history.
The Continental Tour will be divided into three levels – Gold, Silver and Bronze – whose status will be determined by the quality of competition and prize money on offer.
World Athletics is investing in the Gold level meetings, which will each offer Sh20 million ($US200,000) in prize money, to increase the number of high quality competitive opportunities available to showcase our sport’s best athletes.
Area associations will be responsible for managing the Silver Sh 7.5 million ($US75,000) prize money) and Bronze level competitions Sh2.5 million ($US25,000). There will be ten Silver and up to 50 Bronze meetings.
Those disciplines not included in this year’s Wanda Diamond League final – 200m, 3000m steeplechase, triple jump, discus - will be core events in the Continental Tour Gold meetings, as will the hammer throw. Each will have guaranteed prize money of Sh2million ($US20,000) at each meeting.
Performances in those events will attract the same level of world ranking points as the core Diamond League disciplines, and the overall tour winners will receive wildcard entry to the World Athletics Championships Oregon 2021.
Host broadcasters have been appointed for each meeting and Infront, the tour’s international TV rights holder, will sell the rights into markets around the world.