World Athletics has finalised the schedule for the inaugural running of its Continental Tour, with the addition of Nairobi.
The Kenyan capital will be the first African host city on this year’s calendar.
The pilot year of the $2m (€1.8m) ‘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 2 May, followed by Tokyo, Japan on 10 May. The series will finish in Zagreb, Croatia on 15 September.
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 $200,000 in prize money, to increase the number of high-quality competitive opportunities available to showcase the sport’s best athletes.
Area associations will be responsible for managing the Silver ($75,000 prize money) and Bronze level competitions ($25,000). There will be 10 Silver and up to 50 Bronze meetings. Disciplines that are not included in this year’s 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 $20,000 at each meeting. Overall tour winners will receive wildcard entry to the 2021 World Athletics Championships, which will be held in Eugene, Oregon.
World Athletics, the global governing body for athletics, revealed initial details of the 2020 Continental Tour in November. Earlier in the month, the organisation formerly known as the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) axed eight disciplines from the core programme for the 2020 Diamond League as part of ongoing efforts to create a “faster-paced, more exciting” global series.
In October, World Athletics revised a plan announced earlier in 2019 to cut the number of Diamond League events in 2020, instead launching the new second-tier Continental Tour and adding an extra meet in China.