An international athletics season of one-day meetings is taking shape between August and October this year following the commitment of most Continental Tour Gold and Wanda Diamond League meeting directors to organise their events on rescheduled dates in 2020.

A small number of countries will be able to stage meetings through June and July (Oslo’s Bislett Games will go ahead in an altered format called The Impossible Games on 11 June), but the international season is likely to commence in earnest directly after the National Championships window of August 8-9.

The first World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting of the year, the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland, will be held on August 11

Eight of the 10 Continental Tour Gold meetings originally scheduled for 2020 have been confirmed for this year, although many have been rescheduled to fall between August and October.

The Nairobi meeting, originally planned to open the tour in May, has been rescheduled for 26 September, and the Nanjing and Tokyo meetings are considering dates in September-October, but these have yet to be finalised.

A total prize money purse of at least US$200,000 will be offered for each Gold meeting

Some Continental Tour Silver and Bronze meetings will also be able to go ahead, primarily as domestic competitions, starting from the Memorial Josefa Odlozila in Prague on 8 June.

 As the Wanda Diamond League has announced today, its schedule of one-day meetings will begin with the Monaco meeting on 14 August and continue through until mid-October.

 Due to the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, the Diamond League organisers have announced that these will be individual meetings and will not include a series point score, so there will be no overall league winners this year and the final in Zurich will not be held.

 The format of each Diamond League meeting and the disciplines included will be announced by each meeting organiser two months in advance.

 World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has praised the cooperative efforts of the meeting organisers to work with World Athletics to put together a substantial competition season for the sport’s top athletes.

 “As we have worked through the challenges posed by the pandemic and the disruption it has caused to our sport, as well as the wider community, our first priority was the health and safety of our athletes. And the next priority has been to find a way to get our professional athletes back into international competition this year as their incomes rely on this.

 “I’m delighted that it now looks like we will be able to offer them a solid international season between August and October where they can earn prize money and assess their training progress in preparation for next year’s Olympic Games, although we know this will not be easy for everyone.

 “Inevitably international travel restrictions will affect the ability of some athletes to attend some meetings, but we hope that there will be a wide enough range of meetings available for most elite athletes to access some competition before the end of the year.”

 Of the World Athletics Series events that were scheduled for 2020, only the World Half Marathon Championships will go ahead this year, on 17 October in Gdynia, Poland.

 The World Indoor Championships will be held in Nanjing,  March 19-21, 2021, but the World U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, and the World Race Walking Team Championships in Minsk, Belarus are still being rescheduled.

 

2020 international competition calendar:

August

11 Turku – Continental Tour Gold

14 Monaco – Wanda Diamond League

16 Gateshead – Wanda Diamond League

20 Szekesfehervar – Continental Tour Gold

23 Stockholm – Wanda Diamond League

 

September

2 Lausanne – Wanda Diamond League

4 Brussels – Wanda Diamond League

6 Paris (tbc) – Wanda Diamond League

6 Silesia – Continental Tour Gold

8 Ostrava – Continental Tour Gold

15 Zagreb – Continental Tour Gold

17 Rome/Naples – Wanda Diamond League

19 Shanghai – Wanda Diamond League

26 Nairobi – Continental Tour Gold

 

October

4 Eugene – Wanda Diamond League

9 Doha – Wanda Diamond League

17 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships

17 China (venue tba) – Wanda Diamond League

 

Note: dates for the Continental Tour Gold meetings in Tokyo and Nanjing are still to be finalised.

The Racers Grand Prix, which was awarded gold status in the newly formed 2020 World Athletics Continental Tour, has been postponed due to the global impact of the novel coronavirus.

The meet, which was originally scheduled for June 13, 2020, in Kingston, was one of 10 meets in the new series designed to accommodate athletes from several disciplines cut from the Diamond League for 2020. The events - the triple jump, discus, 3000m steeplechase and 200m. are thee core disciplines for which ranking points would have been allotted at the same level as the Diamond League.

 Meet organiser Glen Mills, in a letter to World Athletics,  said the ferocity of the virus, the local and global restrictions on travelling and gatherings, quarantine procedures, as well as the inconclusive timeline of the impact of the virus were the reasons behind the postponement of the Continental World Series gold standard meet.

 “It is now clear that our only choice is to postpone the date of this year’s meeting of the Racers Grand Prix – Kingston Continental Tour Gold meeting,”  said Mills in the letter dated April 2.

“We are now hoping to be able to reschedule the meeting for a date in the latter half of August. Of course, this is subject to the agreement of World Athletics, in keeping with your overall schedule. It is also subject to the availability of the stadium and the hotel on this new date.”

The meet was intended to be a major boon for the Racers Grand Prix that over the past four years has established itself as one of the best track and field meetings in the Western Hemisphere.

 “We remain grateful that the world body recognised the type of meet that we were putting on, which has been of the highest quality,” said Mills. “And though the postponement of the event is unfortunate, once we receive the all-clear, we will ensure the meet delivers on every level.”

 “We encourage athletes to follow the World Health Organisation guidelines and those of their local leadership to reduce the risk of catching the coronavirus. And we also encourage them to focus on their wellbeing and to find innovative methods to stay fit during this period.”

 The Continental series was set to begin on May 10 in Tokyo, Japan and would also include the Fanny Blankers Koen Games in Hengelo, Netherlands; the Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland; and the Skolimowska Memorial in Silesia, Poland.

 

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The Wanda Diamond League has today postponed three more meetings which had been scheduled to take place in May. An alternative calendar for the 2020 season is to be announced in due course.

Following the postponement of early-season events in Qatar and China last week, the series has decided to also suspend meetings in Stockholm (scheduled for 24 May), Naples/Rome (28 May) and Rabat (31 May). 

The decision was made in close consultation with all the relevant parties. The dynamic global spread of the COVID-19 disease, the travel restrictions expected to be in force for some time and above all concerns over athlete safety have made it impossible to stage the competitions as planned. 

The meeting organisers, the Wanda Diamond League and World Athletics remain committed to delivering a structured extensive season in 2020. The aim is to ensure that athletes can compete at the highest possible level this year and that fans will be able to see their favourite stars in action, whenever the global health situation allows. 

New dates for Wanda Diamond League events will be announced in cooperation with the World Athletics Global Calendar Unit as soon as the extraordinary situation makes a reliable plan possible. We are working intensively with all stakeholders (athletes, managers, broadcasters, sponsors, local authorities and federations) to develop a new calendar for a 2020 Wanda Diamond League season which best serves the interests of athletes and fans.

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