World Athletics to raise marathon standards for 2025 World Championships

The men's standard is expected to go up to 2:06:30, and the women's standard will be 2:23:30

On Tuesday, the marathon entry standards for the 2025 World Athletics Championships in Tokyo were leaked to social media, and the men’s and women’s marathon qualification marks seem to be getting a lot tougher.

The women’s marathon entry standard is expected to be increased by three minutes and 20 seconds, to 2:23:30, from the previous 2:26:50 mark for the Paris Olympics. With the number of female athletes recording sub-2:20 times, most expected to see an increase in the women’s standard.

The men’s marathon standard is expected to see an increase of one minute and 40 seconds, to 2:06:30, from its previous mark of 2:08:10. Only 91 athletes have hit this new mark in the Paris Olympic qualifying window (November 1, 2022 to April 30, 2024). Sixty-five of those 91 athletes are Kenyan and Ethiopian.When the women’s marathon entry standard was released for the Paris Olympics, World Athletics intended for a near 50/50 split in runners hitting the entry standard and the rest of the field qualifying via the World Athletics rankings and points system. The number of women who will qualify on points for the Paris Olympics will be zero, with 82 women of the (soft cap) of 80 spots hitting the Olympic standard of 2:26:50.The new standard of 2:23:30 is a mark only two Canadian female marathoners have surpassed (Natasha Wodak’s Canadian record of 2:23:12 from the 2022 Berlin Marathon and Malindi Elmore’s 2:23:30 from Berlin in 2023). One hundred and fifteen female athletes have run under this mark in the Paris Olympic qualifying window, with the top mark being Tigist Assefa’s world record of 2:11:53 in Berlin. Even though Elmore’s mark equalled the Tokyo WC qualifying mark in September 2023, her time will not get her into the 2025 World Championship marathon, since the qualifying window did not open until November. 

Only four North American men have ever run under the proposed 2025 World Championship standard: Canada’s Cam Levins (2:05:35–Tokyo 2023) and three Americans: Khalid Khannouchi (2:05:38–London 2002), Galen Rupp (2:06:07–Prague 2018) and Ryan Hall (2:06:17–London 2008).World Athletics’ tougher standards come with the organization’s goal to create a dual pathway of qualification, with 50 per cent of athletes qualifying through entry standards and the remaining 50 per cent qualifying through World Rankings and its points system.



posted Saturday March 23rd
by Running magazine