The international athletics season will commence in earnest in exactly four weeks’ time when the first of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meetings is held at Turku in Finland.
Following a challenging start to the year, competition is starting to resume in many countries and the action will heat up on 11 August when Turku kicks off the inaugural World Athletics Continental Tour Gold series.
Continental Tour Gold meetings, the top tier of the world’s best one-day competitions outside the Diamond League, will be held throughout August and September.
The series is scheduled to include stops in eight countries in total, including Hungary (Székesfehérvár, 19 Aug), Japan (Tokyo, 23 Aug), Poland (Silesia, 6 Sep), Czech Republic (Ostrava, 8 Sep), Croatia (Zagreb, 15 Sep), Kenya (Nairobi, 26 Sep) and China (Nanjing, date tbc).
The World Athletics website will provide a preview ahead of each fixture as well as an in-depth post-competition report. And be sure to follow the @ContiTourGold accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for additional coverage.
Each meeting will be shown by the following national broadcasters:
Turku – Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle)
Székesfehérvár – Magyar Televizio (MTV)
Tokyo – Tokyo Broadcasting Service (TBS)
Silesia – Telewizja Polska SA (TVP)
Ostrava – Ceska Televize (CT)
Zagreb – Hrvatska Radiotelevizija (HRT)
Nairobi – NTV Kenya (NTV)
Nanjing – China Central Television (CCTV)
Full details of the international broadcast will be confirmed in the days leading up to each meeting, with the World Athletics YouTube channel showing every meeting in markets where rights haven’t been sold.
What to expect
Named after the Finnish athletics legend who was born in Turku, the Paavo Nurmi Games will feature a high-quality men’s javelin contest between Olympic champion Thomas Rohler, 2017 world champion Johannes Vetter and European silver medallist Andreas Hofmann.
The German trio, who have all thrown well beyond 90 metres in the past, will be targeting Rohler’s meeting record of 91.28m.
World athlete of the year Dalilah Muhammad is one of four world champions set to compete at the Gyulai Memorial in Szekesfehervar.
World and Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor, world 400m champion Steven Gardiner and four-time world hammer champion Pawel Fajdek are also on the bill.
In the month that Tokyo was originally due to host the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will now stage the Seiko Golden Grand Prix, where many of the country’s top stars are expected to compete.
Fajdek and fellow Polish standouts Piotr Lisek and Justyna Swiety-Ersetic have been confirmed for Silesia’s Kamila Skolimowska Memorial, named after the late 2000 Olympic hammer champion.
With world javelin record-holder Barbora Spotakova, 2017 world javelin silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch and world indoor shot put bronze medallist Tomas Stanek having been confirmed for the Golden Spike meeting, the throwing events look set to produce some of the highlights in Ostrava.
With two months still to go before the Han?ekovi? Memorial in Zagreb, the organisers have not yet confirmed any names, but Croatia’s Olympic champions Sandra Perkovic and Sara Kolak have been regular fixtures at the meet in recent years.
The Kip Keino Classic, which will be hosted in Nairobi’s freshly refurbished Nyayo National Stadium, will attract many of the leading Kenyan athletes.
World 1500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot, who took part in a virtual 2000m race as part of last month’s Impossible Games, is keen for a rematch on home soil with the Ingebrigtsen brothers.