The Gyulai Istvan Memorial in Szekesfehervar, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting (© Organisers)
The 2022 World Athletics Continental Tour will commence in just five days with an expanded schedule featuring meetings in all six continental areas, beginning in New Zealand.
More than 130 meetings have been included so far in this year’s Tour, which will be divided into four levels – Gold, Silver, Bronze and Challenger. The status of each meeting is determined by the quality of competition and prize money on offer.
Spanning the globe over the next eight months, the Tour is designed to provide athletes with more high calibre competitive opportunities to earn prize money and world ranking points while reaching fans in nearly every corner of the world.
In 2021, 6682 athletes from 147 countries were involved in the Continental Tour, with two world records, 12 area records, 99 national records and 1377 personal bests set across the 69 meetings.
The 2022 calendar currently includes nine Gold level meetings – as the top tier of the world's best one-day competitions outside the Wanda Diamond League – plus 25 Silver, 50 Bronze and 50 Challenger meetings. It is expected that two or three more US meetings will also join the Continental Tour in the near future.
Currently TV rights for Gold level meetings have been sold in 150 territories across the globe and for territories where broadcast coverage is not available either live or as delayed highlights, a live stream will be shown on the World Athletics YouTube channel.
“The growth and success of the Continental Tour since its inception in 2020 lies in the fact that we now have an ever-growing number of high-quality one-day meetings, providing more opportunities to athletes and more extensive broadcast coverage available around the world,” World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said.
“From 28 meetings in 2020 to 69 in 2021 and more than 130 in 2022, I extend huge thanks to the event organisers who have made this possible and joined us on this journey to breathe more life into the one-day circuit. The introduction of Challenger level meetings this year means many more athletes will have access to Continental Tour competition, which will also be great for fans who will be able to see more athletes from more countries competing.”
The Tour kicks off on Saturday (22), when Hastings in New Zealand will welcome athletes for the Potts Classic, a Challenger event. From there the Tour moves on to Australia for the Zatopek Classic in Melbourne on 26 January, with the first Bronze level meeting being the Sir Graeme Douglas International in Auckland, New Zealand, on 20 February.
Taking place later in the season, the Gold calendar includes the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi, the Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Tokyo, the Ostrava Golden Spike, the Irena Szewinska Memorial in Bydgoszcz, the FBK Games in Hengelo, the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, the Gyulai Istvan Memorial in Szekesfehervar and the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial in Chorzow.
The 2022 Tour will come to a close at the Gold level Memorial Borisa Hanzekovica in Zagreb on 11 September.
Highlights from last year’s World Athletics Continental Tour Gold action include Sifan Hassan’s world 10,000m record of 29:06.82 and Mondo Duplantis’ 6.10m pole vault win at the FBK Games, Francine Niyonsaba’s world 2000m record of 5:21.56 at the Memorial Borisa Hanzekovica, Elaine Thompson-Herah’s 10.71 100m victory ahead of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and the top triple jump battle between Pedro Pablo Pichardo and Hugues Fabrice Zango at the Gyulai Istvan Memorial, and Anita Wlodarczyk’s statement 77.93m hammer win at the Irena Szewinska Memorial.
Gold level meetings in the 2022 World Athletics Continental Tour
7 May – Kip Keino Classic, Nairobi (KEN)
8 May – Seiko Golden Grand Prix, Tokyo (JPN)
31 May – Ostrava Golden Spike, Ostrava (CZE)
3 June – Irena Szewinska Memorial, Bydgoszcz (POL)
6 June – FBK Games, Hengelo (NED)
14 June – Paavo Nurmi Games, Turku (FIN)
8 August – Gyulai Istvan Memorial, Szekesfehervar (HUN)
4 September – Kamila Skolimowska Memorial, Chorzow (POL)
11 September – Memorial Borisa Hanzekovica, Zagreb (CRO)