World Athletics has announced its plans for the new Continental Tour that will start in 2020 ©World Athletics

Ten cities will be involved in the inaugural 2020 World Athletics Continental Tour, details of which were announced here today.

The new competition will replace the World Challenge events as the second tier of competition under the Diamond League, and the four events that have been controversially cut, either partially or completely, from the latter competition for next season will have senior status within the new format.

The four events - triple jump, discus, 200 metres and 3,000m steeplechase - will be part of the core events in the top, or Gold level of the Tour, which will also have Silver and Bronze levels.

Organisers said the four events would feature in "four to five" of the meetings in the pilot year of the Tour, and perhaps one more once the identity of the 10th venue has been settled.

All four events dropped from the Diamond League final, or in some cases the Diamond League itself, will retain a wild card to the Eugene World Athletics Championships for the winners.

The hammer, which has not been in the Diamond League set-up, will come at least partially into the new Tour, and also retain a World Championship wild card.

World Athletics announced details here today of next year's launch of the Continental Tour ©Getty Images
World Athletics announced details here today of next year's launch of the Continental Tour ©Getty Images

The Tour is intended eventually to take place in every continent, and according to World Athletics chief executive Jon Ridgeon, it could eventually take in 15 or more meetings.

The initial list comprises Tokyo in Japan, Nanjing in China, Ostrava in the Czech Republic, Hengelo in The Netherlands, Turku in Finland, Kingston in Jamaica, Szekesfehervar in Hungary, Silesia in Poland and Zagreb in Croatia.

Ridgeon added: "There is a possibility that the 10th event will be held in Nairobi, if not for 2020 then for 2021."

The Gold level series in 2020 will offer total prize money of $2 million (£1.56 million/€1.81 million).

Prize money for the core events will be $20,000 (£15,600/€18,000) - £10,000 less than that on offer in the Diamond League.

Winners will get $6,000 (£4,700/€5,400) and prize-winners in the discretionary events receive half that amount.

The series will begin on May 10 in Tokyo in the stadium that will host Olympic events 12 weeks later.

Host broadcasters have been appointed for each meeting and Infront, the tour's international TV rights holder, will sell the rights into markets around the world.

"We are kick-starting our campaign to build more quality one-day meetings around the world with the new Continental Tour, which will give athletes more opportunities to compete across all disciplines, to earn prize-money and world-ranking points to build up their profiles, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said.

"Between the Diamond League and the Continental Tour, all disciplines will be catered for and many more athletes will have access to top-class competition.

"Those that have not been included in the Diamond League final next year will be core disciplines on the Continental Tour."

Alfonz Juck, who runs the Golden Spike Ostrava meeting, acted as spokesman for the assembled meeting promoters and said the new initiative had seen the world federation and individual promoters working more closely together than in recent years.