BEIJING, April 15 (Xinhua) -- The 2019 IAAF World Challenge and Hammer Throw Challenge will open in two weeks' time when Braganca Paulista hosts the Grande Premio Brasil de Atletismo.
Braganca Paulista is the first of nine IAAF World Challenge meetings to be held in the late spring and summer. The series traverses the globe with stops in Kingston, Osaka, Nanjing, Hengelo, Turku, Ostrava and Berlin before concluding in Zagreb in September.
World Challenge meetings often play essential roles in the lead-in to major championships. Of the 36 world champions crowned in individual track and field events in 2017, 15 had participated in at least one World Challenge meeting earlier in the season.
The 2019 IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge consists of nine competitions in seven countries with stops in Braganca Paulista, Osaka, Nanjing, Turku, Bydgoszcz, Chorzow, Szekesfehervar and Szombathely before concluding in Doha.
Polish duo Anita Wlodarczyk and Wojciech Nowicki topped the challenge standings in 2018. Wlodarczyk has won the challenge six consecutive times, while Nowicki emerged as the men's winner.
Wlodarczyk was beaten by Gwen Berry of the United States earlier in the series. Although she outperformed her rivals in the rest of competitions in the Hammer Throw Challenge, her winning margin dropped to its lowest level since 2014 of 4.81. The men's challenge was even fiercer, with a score gap of 1.85 between Nowicki and his compatriot, making the competition the tightest one in five years.
There will be a minimum of 8,500 U.S. dollars in prize money per hammer competition at each Hammer Throw Challenge meeting. The top 12 finishers will receive prize money, with the final winner being awarded 30,000 U.S. dollars.