General view of the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix
Prize bonuses of US$20,000 and the first wildcard entries into the IAAF World Indoor Championships Nanjing 2020 will be on offer for the winners of the 2019 IAAF World Indoor Tour, which begins in late January.
The fourth edition of the indoor tour will kick off in Boston (USA) on 26 January, with stops in Karlsruhe (Germany) on 2 February, Torun (Poland) on 6 February, Madrid (Spain) on 8 February, Birmingham (Great Britain) on 16 February, before the finale in Dusseldorf (Germany) on 20 February.
The tour will feature 11 point-scoring disciplines (those that were not part of this year’s tour programme), five for men – 400m, 1500m, 60m hurdles, high jump, long jump – and six for women – 60m, 800m, 3000m/5000m, pole vault, triple jump and shot put. The distribution of the events between the six meetings has been published today.
Each athlete’s best three results will count towards their point score and the athlete with the most points in each discipline at the end of the tour will be declared the winner at the finale in Dusseldorf and receive the US$20,000 bonus. The winners of each individual event will receive US$3000 with the tour offering a combined prize purse of US$570,350.
The tour winners will also be eligible for wildcard entry to the IAAF World Indoor Championships Nanjing 2020, subject to the approval of their national federation.
IAAF President Sebastian Coe said: “The tour is becoming a popular event on the athletics calendar and we are anticipating another action-packed month of indoor athletics early next year. The beauty of indoor athletics is the intimacy of the arena. The fans can almost reach out and touch the athletes, and the impressive early ticket sales suggest our supporters are keen to experience that.
“The 2019 World Indoor Tour also offers fans the first chance to see which athletes have made improvements in the off-season and are likely to feature in our main event of the year, the World Athletics Championships in Doha in September-October. It’s a great chance for athletes to set themselves up for the outdoor season and I’m very much looking forward to seeing the early form guide for the rest of the year."
The individual discipline winners of the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Tour included Beatrice Chepkoech (1500m), who went on to break the outdoor world record in the 3000m steeplechase in Monaco in July, and Mariya Lasitskene (high jump), Adam Kszczot (800m) and Yomif Kejelcha (3000m), who won world indoor titles in Birmingham in March.
Among the athletes already confirmed to compete during the tour are British distance star Laura Muir (Birmingham), world indoor 60m hurdles champion Andrew Pozzi (Dusseldorf) and German shot putter Christina Schwanitz (Dusseldorf), for whom this is a favourite competition.
“We always get to throw right in the centre of the arena in Dusseldorf, which means we always have the crowd’s undivided attention,” Schwanitz said.
Tickets have already gone on sale for most of the meets and Birmingham and Karlsruhe report that seats are selling at a record rate, with only 600 tickets left for the Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe. Tickets for the Boston meeting go on sale on 4 December.