Athletics - WA restructures cross country, combined and race walking events

FILE PHOTO: Athletics - Diamond League - Zurich - Sechselaeutenplatz square, Zurich, Switzerland - September 8, 2021 World athletics president Sebastian Coe REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

(Reuters) - World Athletics (WA) has moved the cross country, combined events and race walking meetings to a three-tier World Tour format to allow the governing body to create a simpler calendar of international events.

Competitions in the WA Cross Country Tour, Combined Events Tour and Race Walking Tour will have gold, silver and bronze status, with the calendars for each to be announced in due course.

WA said there would be $400,000 in prize money on offer for the best performers, which includes a new pool of $75,000 for the best male and female cross country runners.

"One of our primary goals... is to improve the competitive and earning opportunities for elite athletes around the world and these new tour formats are designed to do just that," WA President Sebastian Coe said in a statement on Tuesday.

"They will also create new avenues for fans to watch our leading athletes, either in person or via broadcast or livestream."

All gold level Cross Country Tour meetings will be shown on WA's YouTube channel and the organisation is working on similar coverage plans for next year's Combined Events and Race Walking Tours.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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