The IAAF World Athletics Association has decided to make winter more attractive. It should include a series of indoor meetings called the World Tour, a sort of analogy to the popular Diamond League, whose events take place in the open air. Following this year’s pilot year, which included four events, the IAAF announced it would hold six indoor meets from the 2018 season. Athletes will compete not only for the prize, but also for the wild card, which ensures the holder a head start at the world championships indoors. The winner will take home $20,000.
With this step, the IAAF seeks to attract not only sponsors and spectators, but especially the athletes themselves. The best in the world often skip indoor events and save for the more exciting parts of season two. “The indoor meeting is a great opportunity for us to further promote our sport,” the IAAF said in a statement. “These events also appeal to spectators who are only meters away from the athletes, which is not the case for events in large stadiums,” added the IAAF.
The indoor meeting will take place in a non-Diamond League venue. World athletics will thus reach other cities. This year’s meetings were held in Karlsruhe, Boston, Stockholm and Glasgow. In 2018, another German meet will be added in Düsseldorf, and the sixth event on the world tour will be a non-European venue, the location of which has not been confirmed by the IAAF.
The winner of the contest at each meeting will receive a cash prize of three thousand dollars. The first six places were awarded financially. Only in cross-country races on a track shorter than 600 meters will competitors in seventh and eighth place receive a financial bonus. The overall winner would then take home $20,000 and a wild card, which would guarantee her a start at the world indoor championships even if she did not meet the nomination criteria.
World athletics is facing an outflow of sponsors after doping violations involving Russia in particular came to light. For this reason, Adidas terminated the long-term cooperation prematurely. However, the IAAF did not last long without its main partners. Adidas was replaced by Nike.
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