MONACO (SATSports) – It will be an action-packed 2022 for athletes after World Athletics announced a new three-tier format for the world’s cross country, race walking and combined event meetings.
Similar to the World Continental and World Indoor tours, these races will be subsequently categorised as gold, silver or bronze and will come with additional prize monies for the best performers.
WA president Seb Coe lauded the newest development as a boon for athletes who now stand a chance to put more money in their pockets while showcasing their talents on a global platform.
“One of our primary goals at World Athletics is to improve the competitive and earning opportunities for elite athletes around the world and these new tour formats are designed to do just that,” Coe said.
Coe added that the restructuring is necessary to provide athletics enthusiasts with more entertainment.
“They will also create new avenues for fans to watch our leading athletes, either in person or via broadcast or Livestream. My thanks goes to World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon and Competition Director, Jakob Larsen, for the work they have been doing on the global competition calendar and the one-day meetings and the team they have now put in place to drive this critical area forward,” he said.
Out of the $400,000 (Sh43m) prize money for the star performers, $75,000 (Sh8m) will be set aside for the best male and female runners in the cross country tour.
Already, Eldoret has been selected as one of the venues for the World Cross Country Tour on February 12 next year — almost a week after the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia.
The 17-leg tour commences later this month with other stops in Oceania, North America, Europe and Asia and will incorporate events, which have been part of the Cross Country Permit series.
Furthermore, the best performers in the tour will acquire world cross country ranking points.
Speaking after the confirmation of the hosting rights, Athletics Kenya president Jack Tuwei said they have already planned deliberations to develop a programme of activities in preparations for the meeting.
“We will sit down as a committee to look at the logistics involved to make the event a reality. We also need to review the rules and regulations so we can stage a memorable event,” Tuwei said.
It will be the second major global athletics meet to be held in the country after hosting two editions of the World Athletics Continental Tour — otherwise known as the Kip Keino Classic.