AK welcomes new Indoor Tour format
Athletics Kenya AK has welcomed the move by World Athletics to expand the Indoor Tour that will broaden the geographical spread of meetings around the world and incorporate additional area level competitions.
Heading into its sixth season, the World Athletics Indoor Tour will feature six Gold level meetings in 2021, kicking off in Karlsruhe in Germany on January 29 and culminating in Madrid on February 24.
New York’s Millrose Games, one of the oldest and most prestigious indoor meetings in the world, has been added to the circuit for next year.
AK senior vice president Paul Mutwii says besides giving athletes wide areas of competition, it is also one of the measures the international body is taking to ensure security and wellbeing of athletes in the Covid-19 times.
In the new changes, the Indoor Tour will offer enhanced competition opportunities next year with the introduction of three tiers of competition – Gold, Silver and Bronze – comprising 26 meetings spread across 12 countries in Europe and North America.
The scoring disciplines on the World Athletics Indoor Tour rotate each year. For 2021, the Gold level scoring disciplines will be men’s 400m, 1,500m, 60m hurdles, high jump, long jump; and women’s 60m, 800m, 3,000m/5,000m, pole vault, triple jump, shot put
Each athlete’s best three results will count towards their overall point score. The athlete with the most points in each scoring discipline at the end of the tour will be declared the winner and will be awarded a $10,000 bonus along with a wild card entry for the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade 22.
The prize money allocation has been restructured to allow World Athletics to give more funds directly to the individual meetings, which will assist them to remain financially viable in these challenging times, and to maintain or increase the prize money on offer to athletes.
Each Gold meeting will offer at least $7,000 in prize money for each individual event on the programme, including $3,000 to the winner.
Silver meetings in the expanded tour will award at least $30,000 (at least $4,000 per discipline and respecting gender equality) and Bronze meetings will offer at least $12,000 (at least $2,500 per discipline and respecting gender equality).
Due to the pandemic, the current plans are provisional, so dates and venues could change as the season approaches.