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World Athletics amends Olympic qualification timeline for road athletes

Marathoners and race walkers will be able to qualify for Tokyo 2021 as of September 1

World Athletics announced the suspension of Olympic qualification for all athletes until December 1. On Tuesday, this was officially amended for road athletes, and now marathoners and race walkers will be able to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics as of September 1. The reason for this change is simply due to the limited number of qualifying opportunities for these athletes ahead of May 31, when the qualification period ends. As it stands now, track and field athletes will still have to wait until December to qualify for the 2021 Olympic Games.

Olympic qualifying

When discussing the decision to move the start of the qualification period up to September, Sebastian Coe, the president of World Athletics, noted the lack of mass participation road races around the world due to COVID-19.

Most of the major marathons have already been cancelled or postponed for the remainder of this year and the evolution of the pandemic makes it difficult to predict if those scheduled for the first half of next year will be able to go ahead,” Coe said. He added that marathoners and race walkers cannot be expected to compete as often as track athletes who run shorter distances and still produce high-quality times that would qualify them for Tokyo. He said the qualifying window for road athletes would be “really narrow … without this adjustment.”

Along with the suspending Olympic qualification back in April, World Athletics froze the world rankings until December 1. These will remain frozen as originally planned, although world records are still up for grabs, as long as they’re ratifiable.

World Athletics can amend the qualification period, but that doesn’t mean mass participation road races will suddenly start to pop up once again. In the announcement released on Tuesday, several racing opportunities are outlined, the biggest of which is the London Marathon. The last World Marathon Major standing, the London Marathon is set for October 4, and organizers have refused to cancel even as the coronavirus pandemic persists around the world.

The statement says London Marathon organizers are working with World Athletics to ensure athletes will have a chance to qualify for Tokyo 2021. Whether this means the event will be an elite-only run is unclear, but a decision regarding the fate of the race is expected within the next week.

World Athletics is also working closely with the Abu Dhabi Marathon with the hope that they can provide athletes with another qualification opportunity before the end of the year. For race walkers, two major race walking events are expected to be held between the September 1 and November 30.

Many Canadians have yet to qualify, but Athletics Canada has already confirmed that marathoners Dayna Pidhoresky and Trevor Hofbauer and race walker Evan Dunfee have guaranteed spots for Tokyo. The rest of the Canadian team will be announced next June.

(08/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Paris 2024 could feature a mixed cross-country relay

Cross-country hasn't been included in the Olympics since the 1924 Games

World Athletics has announced plans to include a cross-country mixed relay event in the 2024 Paris Olympics. Cross-country hasn’t been featured in the Olympics for almost a century, and it was last included in the 1924 Olympics, which were also in Paris. If the Paris 2024 organizing committee and World Athletics can work out a plan for the mixed relay, cross-country will make its return to the Games 100 years since its last competition and in the same city.

The event would feature 15 countries, and each team would be made up of four runners (two men and two women). The race would be 20K, and the teams would alternate between male and female runners, with each athlete covering two laps of a 2.5K course.

The president of World Athletics Sebastian Coe has expressed his excitement for a potential Olympic cross-country event. “My love for athletics began with cross-country,’’ he said. “When I joined my first athletics club, Hallamshire Harriers, the club president was Joe Williams, who ran in the last Olympic cross-country race in Paris in 1924. It would be hugely symbolic for this wonderful athletic discipline to return to the fold after a century.”

As of July 26, the Paris Games are just four years away, and an additional running event would be welcome news for Olympic hopefuls around the world. World Athletics officials and Paris 2024 organizers will reportedly meet soon to discuss more details for the prospective relay.

(08/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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New dates set for World Athletics Series events postponed due to the global Covid-19 pandemic

The World Athletics Council has approved new dates for the World U20 Championships Nairobi 2020 and the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships Minsk 2020.

The World U20 Championships will now be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 17 to 22 August, 2021, one week after the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Under the competition’s rules, athletes aged 16, 17, 18 or 19 years on 31 December, 2021 will be eligible to compete.

The World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships have been rescheduled for 23-24 April, 2022 in Minsk, Belarus.

The World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Yangzhou 2022 have also had a small date change, moving back one week, from 20 March, 2022, to 27 March 2022.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said: “The disruption caused by the global pandemic has made it more difficult to schedule international events over the next two years but we want to give as much certainty as we can to our athletes, Member Federations, host cities and partners. We have done our best to choose dates that we believe are achievable and offer the best chance for our athletes and event hosts to shine on the international stage.”

Bathurst World Cross Country organisers request alternative dates

World Athletics has also updated the Council on conversations with organisers of the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021 to explore alternative dates for the event.

This is due to ongoing travel and gathering restrictions resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic and the measures currently implemented within Australia to contain it. This includes the closure of Australia’s international borders.

The Board of the Local Organising Committee, World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021, the Athletics Australia board and the New South Wales Government have reinforced their strong desire to host this World Championship and have asked World Athletics to postpone the event to a future date to be determined.

World Athletics will work closely with all stakeholders in Australia to explore the feasibility of other dates. At this time the event remains in the calendar for 20 March 2021.

National championships windows, 2021-2024

In an effort to assist long-term planning for the athletes and Member Federations and in line with the Global Calendar Hierarchy, the Global Calendar Unit has agreed on the following national championships protected windows from 2021-2024.

2021

Protected national championships window 1 - 5-6 June

Protected national championships window 2 - 26-27 June

2022

Protected national championships window - 25-26 June

2023

Protected national championships window 1 - 8-9 July

Protected national championships window 2 - 29-30 July

2024

Protected national championships window 1 - 8-9 June

Protected national championships window 2 - 29-30 June

(08/02/2020) ⚡AMP
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The World Athletics Council has confirmed the competition format for a cross country event to be included in the Olympic Games

The event, which has been proposed for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, would be a mixed team relay for 15 countries.

Each team would be composed of two men and two women. Each member of the team would run two legs of the 2.5km course, alternating between male and female athletes as each athlete completes the 2.5km course and hands over to a teammate.

World Athletics will meet with the Paris 2024 organising committee in the near future to work out further details of the proposal.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said he was delighted at the prospect of cross country returning to the Olympic Games 100 years after it last appeared at the 1924 Paris Games.

“My love for athletics began with cross country,’’ he said.

“When I joined my first athletics club, Hallamshire Harriers, the club president was Joe Williams, who ran in the last Olympic cross country race in Paris in 1924. It would be hugely symbolic for this wonderful athletic discipline to return to the fold after a century, and for a new generation of runners to fall in love with the glorious challenge of running off-piste.”

(08/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Paris 2024 Olympic Games, could be featuring a mixed cross-country relay

Cross-country hasn't been included in the Olympics since the 1924 Games.

World Athletics has announced plans to include a cross-country mixed relay event in the 2024 Paris Olympics. Cross-country hasn’t been featured in the Olympics for almost a century, and it was last included in the 1924 Olympics, which were also in Paris.

If the Paris 2024 organizing committee and World Athletics can work out a plan for the mixed relay, cross-country will make its return to the Games 100 years since its last competition and in the same city.  

The event would feature 15 countries, and each team would be made up of four runners (two men and two women). The race would be 20K, and the teams would alternate between male and female runners, with each athlete covering two laps of a 2.5K course. 

The president of World Athletics Sebastian Coe has expressed his excitement for a potential Olympic cross-country event. “My love for athletics began with cross-country,’’ he said. “When I joined my first athletics club, Hallamshire Harriers, the club president was Joe Williams, who ran in the last Olympic cross-country race in Paris in 1924. It would be hugely symbolic for this wonderful athletic discipline to return to the fold after a century.” 

As of July 26, the Paris Games are just four years away, and an additional running event would be welcome news for Olympic hopefuls around the world. World Athletics officials and Paris 2024 organizers will reportedly meet soon to discuss more details for the prospective relay.

(07/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Olympic qualification for the marathon and road race walk events can begin in September

Olympic qualification for the marathon and road race walk events can re-start from Sept. 1, three months earlier than previously announced, the sport's governing body World Athletics ruled on Tuesday.

However, qualifying for all other track and field events at next year's Tokyo Games would remain suspended until Nov. 30 as originally planned, it said in a statement.

Qualification was put on hold in early April due to the novel coronavirus pandemic which has caused the Games to be postponed for one year until July/August next year.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said the change was needed for road athletes due to a lack of qualifying opportunities.

"Most of the major marathons have already been cancelled or postponed for the remainder of this year and the evolution of the pandemic makes it difficult to predict if those scheduled for the first half of next year will be able to go ahead," Coe said.

"That situation, combined with the fact that endurance athletes in the marathon and race walks can only produce a very limited number of high-quality performances a year, would really narrow their qualifying window without this adjustment."

Organisers of the London Marathon, due to take place on Oct. 4, were prepared to help athletes from around the world travel to the event achieve an Olympic qualifying time, World Athletics said.

It was also working with organisers of the Abu Dhabi marathon, scheduled for Dec. 11, to see if they could offer similar opportunities, and hoped there would be at least two race-walking events between September and November.

(07/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brian Homewood
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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2020 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia will Launch Virtual Mass Race

World Athletics and the Local Organizing Committee of the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 have launched a new initiative - a virtual mass race on October 17, the same day when the world's elite runners will compete for the championship.

The aim is to encourage runners all around the world to run a half marathon wherever they are on October 17. "It is important to clarify this does not mean that the 'real' mass race we have planned in Gdynia will not take place.

The virtual competition is an addition to our event. We just want to enable the global running community to be with us on October 17 and join the biggest half marathon in history," Michal Drelich, Head of the LOC said in a release.Intense efforts have been made to ensure the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 - including the mass race - can be held in 2020. The final decision will be taken by the end of August.

However, amateur runners who have previously registered for the mass race in Gdynia can already opt to switch to virtual competition, keeping all the benefits from the real mass race, including an Asics t-shirt, an official backpack and a uniquely designed finisher medal.

The idea behind the virtual run is far more universal, involving the global running community. As the event's official motto says: All you need is running.World Athletics president Sebastian Coe has invited runners around the world to participate in this virtual event."As a runner, I've been delighted to see so many more people take up or return to running to maintain their fitness in the challenging circumstances we have all faced due to the pandemic this year," Coe said.

"Having a goal is always good motivation to keep fit and I hope that runners around the globe will join in and take the challenge of running a half marathon wherever they may be on October 17," Coe said. 

(07/24/2020) ⚡AMP
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The next World Half Marathon Championships will be held in Gdynia, Poland. It was scheduled for March 29, 2020 but was postponded until Oct 17, 2021 due to the Coronavirus. The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events...

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Sebastian Coe, the head of World Athletics, was voted in as a member of the International Olympic Committee on Friday

Sebastian Coe, the two-time Olympic 1,500 meters champion for Britain who became head of athletics' world governing body in 2015, was blocked from membership as recently as December over a conflict of interest.

But Coe changed his role at the marketing company he is currently running as managing director to a passive position, thus paving the way to IOC membership.

Coe's belated entry into the IOC club is significant because he has been mentioned as a potential future president of the Olympic movement.

Voting at the IOC Session, held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic, saw 85 valid votes with six abstentions: 77 voted to approve Coe's membership, with eight voting against.

"Thank you to all of you who voted for our sport, our federation today," said Coe.

"I look forward, our whole sport looks forward, to working even more closely with all of you in performing and building upon all sports because at this time, of all times, the need for community in elite sport to thrive and flourish is probably never more important.

"Thank you very much for the position today."

As Coe signed his IOC oath, IOC president Thomas Bach let slip a greeting."Finally, welcome!" Bach said.

Also approved for individual IOC membership were Princess Reema Bandar al-Saud, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, former Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Cuban Olympic Committee (COC) board member Maria de la Caridad Colon Ruenes and acting Mongolian National Olympic Committee president Battushig Batbold.

(07/18/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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World Athletics is not happy with the Russian Athletics Federation

In a statement released on July 2, World Athletics confirmed that it had not received payments due from the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) on  July 1 nor, despite reminders and correspondence with the Federation, any information on when the monies may be paid.

As a result World Athletics will stand down both the Doping Review Board (DRB) and the Russian Taskforce until World Athletics’ Council has reviewed and discussed the situation at their meeting on JUly 29-30, as set out in the decision made by the Council on March 12.

Both the Russian Taskforce and the DRB have, in good faith, moved forward in a number of areas, said WA. The DRB has also opened up the Authorised Neutral Athlete (ANA) process to facilitate the granting of ANA status for athletes returning to competition in preparation for the fine being paid by July 1. This will be put on hold until the Council meets at the end of July to ensure World Athletics is not incurring additional costs that may not be reimbursed.

World Athletics President, Sebastian Coe, said: “We are very disappointed by the lack of progress made by RusAF in terms of the requirements set in March. The serious allegations of breaching the anti-doping rules resulted in a new RusAF administration and we had assurances and hoped that change was on its way. However, the experience of the Russian Taskforce is that this has fallen well short of expectations. The terms of payment of the fine and costs were clear and unchallenged by RusAF at the time so this issue will now need to return to Council at the end of July, as we stated in March.”

The payments due from RusAF by July 1 are USD 5million (EUR 4.4m) (fine) and USD 1.31million (EUR 1.2m) (Reinstatement Conditions & Verification Criteria costs incurred from June 30 2019 to March 31 2020, including Legal & CAS Costs; Task Force Costs; Doping Review Board Costs, and Lysenko Investigation costs).

(07/03/2020) ⚡AMP
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Sebastian Coe pays tribute at Hansen's funeral

Speaking at the funeral of Svein Arne Hansen, who died on 20 June, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe described the European Athletics President as “a unique spirit, a steadfast friend and a man with an unflinching and instinctive belief in right and wrong”.

Hansen, who was hospitalized after suffering a stroke in March, was a hugely popular figure within the athletics world. A former meeting director of the Bislett Games, he presided over the Norwegian Athletics Federation from 2003 to 2015 and then became President of European Athletics in 2015.

Coe, speaking at the funeral in Oslo on Wednesday (1), recalled his first encounter with Hansen, at the 1979 Bislett Games where Coe went on to set the first world record of his career.

“We’re all coming to terms with a world without Svein Arne,” said Coe. “And while most of us are left mourning the loss of a wonderful friend and a unique spirit, the Hansen family are sharing the pain and navigating the loss of a husband, a proud father and a doting grandfather. For many of us, we also feel that we have lost an adored extended member of our own family.

“Svein Arne had given me the platform 41 years ago to forge an athletics career that afforded me the chance to shape my life around the wonderful sport of athletics and well beyond the field of play.

“I arrived in Oslo in 1979 a penniless student, a freshly minted graduate and a relative unknown in international athletics. And yet, he greeted me as though I were an Olympian and the star of his meet. When I checked in at the Summer Panorama, effectively a student hostel, he sat me down and explained how pleased he was that I’d accepted the invitation to compete at Bislett.

“I left the stadium with my first world record, an umbilical attachment to this great city, and a friendship that I will cherish forever. And a friendship that will warm well beyond his physical presence.

“Svein Arne was a man that was principled. A man with an unflinching and instinctive belief in right and wrong. A steadfast friend through thick and thin who was also capable of mountainous private acts of kindness. A man of iron will but of supple intellect and emotional intelligence. A man with the vision to change the face of athletics and to do so in the face of an ingrained establishment. And a man that was brave in his championing of not always the easy cause. And a dogged defender of the underdog.

“I’m honored to be here today to speak these words on behalf of World Athletics. I’m honored to have shared a friendship with Svein. I’m honored to have shared so much in our sport with him, from the track to the council chamber. And thankful that it was for so many years.

“Svein, I will miss you very much.”

Hansen’s son Philip and daughter Thine also gave a eulogy. “Like an artist must perform his chosen art form,” said Philip, “my Dad was driven, oddly enough, by his passion for stamps and athletics.”

Hansen’s funeral was followed by a memorial at Bislett Stadium, which was shown on the Norwegian Athletics Federation's Facebook page.

People within the athletics community are also invited to share their memories of Hansen and messages of condolence on the Svein Arne Hansen tribute website.

(07/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Athletics president Sebastian Coe to be elected IOC member in July

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe has been nominated to become a new International Olympic Committee (IOC) member in July, the IOC president Thomas Bach said on Wednesday.

Coe, the two-time Olympic 1,500 meters champion and the head of the athletics' world governing body since 2015, was repeatedly blocked from IOC membership over a conflict of interest surrounding his role as managing director of the CSM Sport and Entertainment company.

"In effect what has changed is that Coe has committed himself to change his status within the company he is currently running as managing director to a passive position," Bach said on a teleconference after a meeting of the IOC Executive Board (EB) on Wednesday, noting that the Brit is among five people who will be elected as new IOC members on July 17.

The other four proposed IOC memberships belong to individual members Maria de la Caridad Colon Ruenes of Cuba, former Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Saudi Arabian Princess Reema Bandar Al-Saud, all female candidates, and Battushig Batbold of Mongolia.

Bach also announced on the teleconference that the EB agreed to submit to the IOC Session a four-year extension of the term of China's IOC member Yu Zaiqing, whose term is to terminate at the end of 2021, due to the important role that he plays in Chinese sport and society. 

(06/11/2020) ⚡AMP
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World Athletics president Sebastian Coe, announced a new pathway to Tokyo Olympics

The qualifying period for track and field events for the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games will end on June 29, next year just 23 days before the start of the world’s biggest sporting bonanza.

However, World Athletics - that unveiled its four-year strategic plan and Olympic qualifying process- disclosed marathon and 50km race walk entry period will elapse on May 31, 2021.

Tokyo Olympic Games were postponed from July 24 to August this year to July 23 to August 8, 2021 owing to Covid-19 pandemic.

With the reopening of its headquarters this week, World Athletics indicated in a statement that it had the opportunity to discuss with its 214 member federations its new strategic plan to drive growth.

The statement explained that the virtual discussion also centred on latest medical advice on the coronavirus pandemic, particularly as it impacts on athletes returning to training and competition, and the updated qualifying process for Tokyo Olympics Summer Games.

Give Direction.- The members also talked about the direction athletics will take over the next four years and the short-term challenges and opportunities the sport has as the world begins to emerge from lockdown.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe, who chaired the meetings, said it was important to communicate regularly with the member federations in this unprecedented situation and to give direction for the future.

"Our head office may have been closed for 11 weeks but we have not been idle," Coe said. “We have used that time to continue to develop our strategy to grow athletics.”

In marathon and 50km race walk, the qualifying period that covers 21 months started on January 1, 2019 and ended April 5, 2020. The period resumes December 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021.

Track And Field.- The period for track events featuring 10,000m, 20km race walk, combined events and relay started January 1, 2019 ending on April 5, 2020. The period resumes on December 1, 2020 to June 29, 2021.

All other track and field events period started on May 1, 2019 ending April 5, 2020 before resuming December 1 this year to elapse on June 29, 2021.

However, World Athletics noted that all the top 10 finishers in the men’s marathon and in the women’s marathon at the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships have qualified automatically for the Tokyo Summer Games.

Also to gain automatic qualification in marathon are top five finishers at the World Athletics gold label marathons and the top 10 finishers at the Marathon Major Series (Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York) held during the qualification period from January 1, 2019 to April 5, 2020.

The top 10 finishers at the platinum label marathons and the winners of the gold label marathons held during the period from December 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021 will also gain direct entry to the Games.

The top eight nations at the 2019 Doha World Championships gain direct entry to the Tokyo Games alongside those that that will finish in top eight at Silesia 2021 World Athletics Relays.World Athletics will also consider world ranking in all the events across the qualifying periods.

(06/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Diamond League Releases Its Revised Racing Calendar for 2020

A limited series of international meets is slated to begin in late August.

This month, the Diamond League announced a provisional 2020 racing calendar featuring 11 meets that will begin in late August and run until October.

Two months before each meet, the host cities’ respective event organizers will announce the format of the meet and any special guidelines (including social distancing regulations) that athletes should be aware of.

As the COVID-19 pandemic conditions continue to linger across the globe, event organizers are having to make tough decisions on whether to cancel races set for late summer and fall, or to carry them out with careful precautions.

For track athletes, most championship meets—including the U.S. Olympic Track Trials, the Tokyo Olympic Games, and the European Track and Field Championships—have been postponed or canceled because of coronavirus concerns. But the Diamond League and World Athletics still hope that there can be an abridged competitive season this year.

On May 12, the Diamond League, which typically hosts a series of meets in the summer that culminates in a final championship, announced a provisional 2020 racing calendar that will begin in late August and run until October. The calendar contains 11 meets that will be hosted in Monaco, England, and Sweden in August; Switzerland, Belgium, France, Italy, and China in September; and the U.S. (Eugene, Oregon), Qatar, and China in October. Unlike in previous years, athletes competing in the meets will not earn Diamond League points, and there will be no final championship.

“Given the current discrepancies in training and travel opportunities, it would be impossible to ensure a level playing field and a fair qualification system during 2020,” the Diamond League said in the press release.

Instead of a uniform series of events, the 2020 Diamond League meets will likely vary greatly from each other. The press release explained that depending on the host city, some meets might feature one-off exhibition events (meaning just one or a select few events will take place), while others will have a more traditional schedule, albeit with special coronavirus precautions.

Two months before each meet, the host cities’ respective event organizers will announce the format of the meet and any special guidelines that athletes should be aware of. The hope is that the two-month lead time will give athletes time to mentally prepare for the meet, and allow organizers to make formatting adjustments as needed, based on their respective government restrictions.

“Some meeting organizers might choose to stage their events in innovative, alternative formats, and/or under social distancing regulations,” the Diamond League said in the press release.

Of course, the main issue with restarting meets while the pandemic is still ongoing is that gathering athletes and fans together in close proximity increases the risk of virus transmission. To help stymy the spread without cancelling events, other international sports—including baseball in South Korea and soccer in Germany—have prohibited spectators in the stands and enforced strict hygiene measures and testing protocols among players and staff members.

It’s possible that track meets might similarly restrict spectator capacity or ban fans altogether, in order to comply with crowd size restrictions. However, this measure will be a last resort, according to World Athletics president Sebastion Coe.

“Without the crowds, it’s a bad event,” Coe told Runner’s World in April. “I’d rather wait and put events back into the schedule when crowds are able to be there than have events with empty stands.”

It’s ultimately up to the hosting cities to determine what the meets will look like, who can compete, and who can watch—with many of those parameters determined by local government restrictions.

“The uncertainty over future government restrictions and timings in the different host countries requires flexibility and adaptability on the part of meeting organizers when planning, staging and offering competition opportunities to athletes,” the Diamond League said in the press release.

(05/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Less than 300 days to go for Bathurst 2021 Cross Country Athletics World Championships

In less than 300 days’ time, the world’s best distance athletes will descend on New South Wales in Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021 on 20 March.

The weekend will include mass participation races, highlighted by a golden ticket event where amateur athletes will race for the chance to compete against the world’s best in the senior championship races. The event will also include the Australian cross country club challenge, which will pit athletics clubs from across the country against one another, racing for bragging rights as the best cross country club in the nation.

Brenda LaPorte, Chair of the Local Organising Committee, said organisers are working hard to fulfil the vision for the event with an outstanding athletic experience, a true celebration of the sport and Australian culture.

“The 2019 championships in Denmark certainly raised the bar and in 2021 we’re looking to take the World Athletics Cross Country Championships to an even higher level,” said LaPorte.

“We’re planning that everyone who visits Bathurst for the championships leaves with the memory of a truly unique, and warmly welcome, regional Australian experience.

“I’m also pleased to say that we will host an invitational para cross country race, which is the first time that para cross country has featured in a World Athletics Cross Country Championships.”

A technical and challenging championship course awaits participants with constant changes in terrain, elevation and direction breaking up a runner’s rhythm. The course has an uphill start and incorporates unique features such as the billabong and a run through a vineyard and its stunning autumn foliage. The senior races will comprise five loops of the two-kilometre course.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe is looking forward to attending the event.

“I want to express my thanks to Athletics Australia, the NSW Government through Destination NSW, and the team at World Athletics for their efforts in producing what will be an extraordinary championship,” Coe said.

“This has been an exceptionally challenging year for the community and for sport globally, so I’m very excited about the prospect of a return to world championship competition next year. Bathurst promises to be a great celebration of sport, from elite to community level. I really love cross country. These championships will not only feature the best distance runners of their generation, but possibly of all time. I encourage anyone with young people in their family to attend as this is a truly inspiring event.”

Spectators at the event can expect action-packed racing on a looped course with easy access to all areas, along with a range of off-track entertainment and activities to keep the whole family engaged. For fans unable to get to Bathurst, the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021 will feature a live international television broadcast and live stream with more than 60 countries expected to broadcast the event.

“This will be the first World Athletics event to be held in Australia for 25 years, so it will be fantastic to welcome 550 elite runners from more than 60 countries to the famed Bathurst racetrack to compete,” said Stuart Ayres, New South Wales’ Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney.

Legendary Australian runner Rob de Castella is Head of Delegation for the Australian Team and said the host nation’s athletes have plenty of motivation to perform.

“Having only ever had one winner of the event, when Benita Willis blitzed the world back in 2004, the Australian team will need to overcome history,” he said. “But I know they are excited to race in front of a large, parochial home crowd who will spur them on. The team will also be inspired to etch their names into the sporting folklore of Bathurst’s Mount Panorama alongside other Australian sporting greats.”

(05/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Athletics Cross Country Championships

World Athletics Cross Country Championships

Athletes from across the globe will descend on Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021. To celebrate the one year to go mark, the local organising committee has unveiled the official course animation for the event, which is scheduled to take place on 20 March 2021. Mount Panorama is better known as the home...

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World half marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor is hopeful of making one more attempt to win the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia in 2021

Kamworor lost his title last year in Denmark, representing his first defeat in cross country in four attempts as he finished third.

Now, the 27-year-old believes he will overcome the health and safety challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic to return to action and dominate cross country once more to win his third title as a senior.

"We shall bounce back stronger," Kamworor said on Monday. "However, what is important now is to stay safe, remain focused and stay positive. It is temporary what we are witnessing. Together we shall overcome."

Mount Panorama in Bathurst is better known as the home of Australia's premier endurance motor race, but next March 20 it will welcome the world's best endurance runners for what will be Australia's first World Athletics Series event in 25 years.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said he is looking forward to attending the event.

"I want to express my thanks to the efforts made in producing what will be an extraordinary championship," Coe said.

"This has been an exceptionally challenging year for the community and for sport globally, so I'm very excited about the prospect of a return to world championship competition next year."

Coe also noted that cross country is important to World Athletics, adding that there are no plans to remove it from the calendar.

"Bathurst promises to be a great celebration of sport, from elite to community level. I really love cross country. These championships will not only feature the best distance runners of their generation, but possibly of all time. I encourage anyone with young people in their family to attend as this is a truly inspiring event," he said.

Of the World Athletics Series events that were scheduled for 2020, only the World Half Marathon Championships will go ahead this year, on 17 October in Gdynia, Poland.

The World Indoor Championships will be held in Nanjing in March 2021, but the World U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, and the World Race Walking Team Championships in Minsk, Belarus have yet to be rescheduled.

(05/25/2020) ⚡AMP
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World Athletics Cross Country Championships

World Athletics Cross Country Championships

Athletes from across the globe will descend on Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021. To celebrate the one year to go mark, the local organising committee has unveiled the official course animation for the event, which is scheduled to take place on 20 March 2021. Mount Panorama is better known as the home...

more...
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Sebastian coe says that sport could rebel against pandemic rules

World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe has warned that sports leaders may rebel against pandemic restrictions as they struggle to get major events back on track.

Coe expressed the frustrations felt by many sports chiefs when he said it was crucial to get top events started again even as the coronavirus takes a mounting toll around the world.

"We have to be guided by what governments, the WHO and local authorities are telling us, but we also have to make our own decisions and make sensible compromises," Coe, 63, told Indian television channel WION.

"There may be a moment when a sport decides that it is ready to stage events even if it is not always with the approval of those authorities.

"We will be respectful, but we have to make decisions in the best interest of our sport and our athletes," the British former track legend insisted.

Athletics like other key sports has seen its calendar and finances badly hit by the postponement of this year's Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The world athletics championships planned for 2021 have had to be pushed back by a year to allow for a provisional plan to stage the Tokyo Games next year instead.

Coe said no one could give a cast-iron assurance that the Olympics will be held.

"Speculating about something that is over a year away is unhelpful," said the former chief of the 2012 London Olympics.

"We are trying to give the athletes some clarity about the calendar and speculation from scientists and medical experts does not help.

"I hope that the pandemic will be contained so that we don't have to cancel the Games."

Athletics' Diamond League may only start in August and finish in October. Coe said competitions will look very different with athletes battling each other in empty stadiums.

"Meeting directors will have to take their own decisions about how to get athletes to competition in a safe and secure manner that doesn't risk infection," he said.

"Each event will have to decide on a format for competition with these safety considerations two months in advance.

"Everybody is waiting to return to competition and organizers will have to be as creative and ingenious as possible in the current circumstances."

(05/20/2020) ⚡AMP
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Applications are open for the World Athletics $500,000 grant in athlete relief

Only the most successful elite athletes in track and field make a healthy living through prize money and sponsorships, so World Athletics (WA) and the International Athletics Foundation (IAF) have teamed up to start a fund for athletes who are struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

WA has opened applications for their Athlete Welfare Fund, which will provide a total of $500,000 to runners who are struggling financially due to the suspended racing season.

The application is open to any track and field athlete who has achieved Olympic standard in their event. These runners are eligible to receive up to $4,000 towards living expenses.

“The IAF has allocated a substantial sum to the fund, and we hope to raise more through private donations from friends of our sport, but it has become apparent that the resources must be focused on athletes who are likely to be competing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year and are now struggling to pay for basic necessities due to loss of income during the pandemic,’’ Sebastian Coe, WA President, said.

“We know this is a stressful situation for many athletes and we are trying to provide meaningful assistance to as many as possible as quickly as possible so they can continue to train for the competition season we have now scheduled for August to October, and for next year’s Olympics.’’

Several Canadian athletes who achieved Olympic standard in 2019 (even if they haven’t officially qualified for the Games) will be able to apply.

So far, the only Canadians nominated for Team Canada are Evan Dunfee, Dayna Pidhoresky and Trevor Hofbauer.

(05/18/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Professional athletes who are experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic now able to register for support from welfare fund

Professional athletes who are experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic will be able to register for a one-off welfare grant from today until May 31.

Two weeks ago World Athletics and the International Athletics Foundation (IAF) announced that a US$ 500,000 welfare fund had been created to support professional athletes who have lost a substantial part of their income due to the suspension of international competition this year.

A working group was formed to oversee the distribution of the funds and it has now finalised the eligibility criteria and application process.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe, who chairs the working group, said it had been a challenging and complicated task to define the eligibility criteria to ensure that grants from the fund were delivered to the athletes most in need.

“The IAF has allocated a substantial sum to the fund, and we hope to raise more through private donations from friends of our sport, but it has become apparent that the resources must be focused on athletes who are likely to be competing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year and are now struggling to pay for basic necessities due to loss of income during the pandemic,’’ Coe said.

“We know this is a stressful situation for many athletes and we are trying to provide meaningful assistance to as many as possible as quickly as possible so they can continue to train for the competition season we have now scheduled for August to October, and for next year’s Olympics.’’

World 1500m record-holder and Olympic champion Hicham El Guerrouj, who initiated this project and sits on the working group, said the loss of competition had had a huge impact on professional athletes because many relied on prize money to support themselves and their families.

The Fund will support athletes who have met the Tokyo Olympic Games entry standard and will provide welfare grants to be used to cover basic living expenses. The level of grant will be dependent on the number of approved applications and up to a maximum of US$4000. It is anticipated that the grants will be distributed directly to athletes from June.

Only athletes who have been impacted financially to the extent that they are unable to maintain their basic standard of living should apply. All applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

Must be qualified (by meeting the entry standard) for selection for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Must have never had an anti-doping rule violation

Must be able to demonstrate a justifiable welfare need through significant loss of income in 2020 compared to 2019.

To help ensure the fund goes to those most in need, please note the following athletes will not be eligible to apply:

Those ranked in the Top 6 in their event in the World Athletics World Rankings

Those who have finished in the Top 6 positions of any Gold Label Road Race in 2019

Those who have earned more than USD 6,000 in prize money from the Diamond League in 2019

(05/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Sebastian Coe says that children will need more access to sport in post-pandemic world

Children will need more access to sport in the post-pandemic world and there is a pressing need to press authorities to stop school sports “withering on the vine”, World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said on Friday.

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the sporting calendar across all disciplines and levels from school to professional.

Coe told Reuters he was planning to launch a campaign to protect the long-term future of athletics when the global lockdowns and cancellations end.

“I want our sport to be a campaigning sport and if we are not about young people and access to the sport we might as well pack up and go home,” the 63-year-old said.

“I am not going to be shy or pussy foot around this any longer. This has to be addressed and this has to be the long-term thinking when we come out of this.”

A healthier population would be better placed to weather future storms like the coronavirus outbreak, Coe added.

“We have got to hit this hard now. We have get into education departments and we can’t let politicians talk a good game about this and not deliver,” Coe said.

“The very fact that any child in the UK is 50% less likely to be active between the age of eight and nine, and 12 and 13, is wrong. It just cannot be right. Whichever way you view that, that has to be wrong,” he added.

(05/13/2020) ⚡AMP
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World Athletics holding talks with IOC over Olympic revenue share

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has said the organisation is holding discussions with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over securing its share of revenues expected from the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Several International Federations (IFs) are set to request an early payment of sums they expected to receive from the IOC from the Games, after the postponement created cash-flow challenges.

World Athletics are one of three IFs in the top group for revenue distribution, along with the International Swimming Federation and the International Gymnastics Federation.

Each are expected to receive around $40 million (£32 million/€36 million) from the IOC from revenue secured from Tokyo 2020.

Coe told the Financial Times that the governing body had begun negotiations with the IOC to seek part of the revenue.

"Like many Olympic sports, we are very grateful but also reliant on the share of the IOC broadcast revenues," Coe said.

"We work in that four-year business cycle and not having those revenues in the year that we were planning means that we have to be very careful."

The postponement of Tokyo 2020 may delay payments to IFs, with the International Cycling Union admitting last month it was anticipating "both a possible postponement to 2021 of payment of Olympic revenues initially expected in the second semester of 2020, and a probable reduction of the sum paid to the IFs".

The International Handball Federation has told the IOC that it can get by without extra financial assistance and suggested that it target available support at other bodies which may be in more need.

World Athletics has also been impacted by the postponement of the 2021 World Athletics Championships in Eugene.

The event was moved to 2022 to avoid a clash with the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

World Athletics, together with the International Athletics Foundation (IAF), confirmed last week that they would establish a support fund for athletes.

The fund is worth $500,000 (£400,000/€459,000) and is aimed at helping athletes through the financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Established in 1986 to support charity in athletics and founded by Honorary President Prince Albert II of Monaco, the IAF has allocated resources from its budgets for 2020 and 2021 to assist the athletes.

Coe, who also chairs the IAF, said the fund would help athletes who have lost income over the past few months due to the suspension of international competition.

He will chair a working group which will assess applications submitted through World Athletics' six Area Associations.

(05/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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Kenyan runners are not earning money, not able to train as hard as usual but are trying to be positive during this COVID-19 crisis

The coronavirus has brought most elite sports to a grinding halt. While athletes who compete in individual sports are at an advantage, marathon runners too are finding it difficult to maintain their competitive edge.

Albert Korir, Henry Kiprop and Felix Kandie are professional marathon runners. Under normal circumstances, each of them would run 180 to 300 kilometers (111 to 186 miles) every week as part of their usual training routines. However, as in most other countries, Kenya's government has implemented restrictions of movement in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

This means Kenyan athletes, like Korir, Kiprop and Kandie, are now forced to train alone, and the restrictions have also forced them to roll back their training regimes – by as much as 200 kilometers less than prior to the pandemic. The sudden reduction in training doesn't come without risks.

"I went from 200 to 50 kilometers a week, so I am worried," Albert Korir says. "When you start active training again you might get injuries."

Korir usually runs two marathons a year. In 2019 he finished first in Houston and second in New York – while setting a personal best in the Canadian capital, Ottawa. Even though the restrictions on movement in Kenya have only been in place for a few weeks, the 26-year-old has already noticed that his fitness is starting to suffer.

"When you're training you breathe hard. Your body is not fit like before, like when you were training hard," he said. "There's even been some changes like weight gain."

Trimming their distances isn't the only problem; elite runners usually train in camps with up to 50 other competitors, but now many are forced to train alone.

For Felix Kandie the coronavirus couldn't have come at a worse time. He had been looking forward to running in what would have been his third Boston Marathon this year. But on April 20, the day when it was originally scheduled for, Kandie was at home – as the coronavirus had forced this year's Boston Marathon to be postponed.

"Now I would have been in Boston racing a few days ago," he said.

Kandie could get another shot if the Boston Marathon goes ahead in September, as organizers are hoping. But when the coronavirus outbreak started, he had already completed 80 percent of his training program in preparation for the event. Last year the 33-year-old had an incredible campaign, placing fourth in the Boston marathon and fifth in Berlin.

He told us that he would stick to his training program as closely as possible despite the restrictions. But at the same time he noted that individual training just wasn't as effective as training in a group.

"You need people there to push you. You need them to make you more competent," he said. "When you're training alone you may feel like you're running fine, but you're actually not getting something out of running alone. In a group you're able to assist each other in all decisions, the speed walking sessions and the morale sessions."

Henry Kiprop was getting ready for this year's Milano Marathon when the pandemic put paid to those plans. He was runner-up at the 2019 Venice Marathon with a time of 2:10, and he had been aiming to knock five minutes off his previous best. Now he is concerned about what this forced break and the absence of optimal training will do to his future performances.

"A marathon is like a process. You do it this year, you do it next year, and finally you have mastered the art of marathon running," he says.  "If you're told to go and run the London Marathon without training, that is quite impossible."

Financial impact 

Quite apart from the restrictions on training, many elite runners are also facing severe financial concerns. Korir is sponsored by German sports giant Adidas, but he still depends on races as his main source of income.

"We have to run and compete. If you don't have any races, then you don't have any finances so it will be difficult for us athletes."

Although many runners find themselves in the same boat, Kiprop believes the financial impact will vary.

"It all depends on the individual. All the marathons that I have been running, I have used my money well," he said. "I've invested in some real estate. So it may take me some time before things get bad for me."

While some can cushion the financial burden better than others, it is a precarious situation for all.

Like Kiprop, Kandie also invested his earnings when he started racing. He knew he can't run forever and needed to secure his financial future. But despite having a what he believes to be a sound financial plan, he would rather not tap into his savings.

"If things continue into next season. If things stay the same there will be big challenges because you have to use the investments that you have," he said.

'No competitions = no prize money'

So is anybody listening? World Athletics and the International Athletics Foundation recently set up a fund to help track-and-field athletes during the coronavirus crisis. World Athletics President Sebastian Coe is well aware of the athletes' financial problems.

"Clearly, if there are no competitions, there's no prize money. So the first objective is to try and get competition back into their world again," he says. 

What that may look like and when it'll come about depends on how quickly the coronavirus is contained.

For professional marathon runners this means continuing to make the best out of a difficult situation. But they know bouncing back to pre-coronavirus levels could take a while. They'll simply have to rely on their endurance and resistance to get them through what is looking more and more like a marathon, not just for professional runners, but people of all walks of life all over the globe.

(05/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Alima Hotakie
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Athletics Kenya´s president Jack Tuwei welcomed the global fund to bail out athletes during the pandemic by the world athletics

Kenya's athletes will benefit from a 500,000 U.S. dollar global fund, which World Athletics launched on Tuesday to help athletes with their financial needs through the Covid-19 pandemic period.

Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jack Tuwei welcomed the move saying it will help bail out athletes who are most effected by the lack of competition with a complete lockdown of sports competitions globally.

"Certainly this fund will cushion them (athletes) from the effects of this virus. Every sector needs help and we thank World Athletics for coming up with such an initiative for athletes," Tuwei said in Nairobi.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said the fund would be used to assist athletes who have lost most of their income in the last few months due to the suspension of international competition while the world combats the global health emergency.

Coe said it was important that the sport supports its athletes who are most in need during the current circumstances.

"I am in constant contact with athletes around the world and I know that many are experiencing financial hardship as a consequence of the shutdown of most international sports competition in the last two months," said Coe.

Most professional athletes rely on prize money as part of their income.

"We're mindful that our competition season, on both the track and road, is being severely impacted by the pandemic. We are hopeful that we will be able to stage at least some competition later this year, but in the meantime we will also endeavor, through this fund and additional monies we intend to seek through the friends of our sport, to help as many athletes as possible," Coe added.

The World Athletics head will chair an expert multi-regional working group to assess the applications for assistance, which will be submitted through World Athletics' six Area Associations.

The members include Olympic champion and 1500m world record-holder Hicham El Guerrouj, and Olympic pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi among others.

(04/29/2020) ⚡AMP
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World Athletics has created a fund to support athletes during the pandemic

World Athletics, together with the International Athletics Foundation (IAF), has today launched a US$500,000 fund to support professional athletes experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, who also chairs the IAF, said the fund would be used to assist athletes who have lost most of their income in the last few months due to the suspension of international competition while the world combats the global health emergency.

Established in 1986 to support charitable causes involving athletics, the International Athletics Foundation, under the Honorary Presidency of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, has allocated resources from its budgets for 2020 and 2021 to assist athletes in need through this process.Coe will chair an expert multi-regional working group to assess the applications for assistance, which will be submitted through World Athletics’ six Area Associations.

The members will include: Olympic champion and 1500m world record-holder Hicham El Guerrouj, Olympic pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi (representing the WA Athletes’ Commission), WA Executive Board members Sunil Sabharwal (Audit Committee) and Abby Hoffman, WA Council members Adille Sumariwalla, Beatrice Ayikoru and Willie Banks, IAF Executive Committee member and former WA treasurer Jose Maria Odriozola and Team Athletics St Vincent and the Grenadines President Keith Joseph.

The working group will meet this week to establish a process for awarding and distributing grants to individual athletes and to look at other ways to raise additional monies for the fund.Coe said it was important that the sport supported its athletes most in need during the current circumstances.

“I would especially like to thank Hicham for bringing this idea to us, and Prince Albert for his strong support of this project. I am in constant contact with athletes around the world and I know that many are experiencing financial hardship as a consequence of the shutdown of most international sports competition in the last two months. Our professional athletes rely on prize money as part of their income and we’re mindful that our competition season, on both the track and road, is being severely impacted by the pandemic.

We are hopeful that we will be able to stage at least some competition later this year, but in the meantime we will also endeavour, through this fund and additional monies we intend to seek through the friends of our sport, to help as many athletes as possible.

"HSH Prince Albert II added: "I created more than 35 years ago the International Athletics Foundation with the late Primo Nebiolo to encourage and promote athletics and grant financial assistance to athletics federations and the most deserving athletes.

Since its inception the Foundation has distributed for these purposes more than US$30 Million. I am delighted that we can put our resources behind this initiative so we can make a difference to the lives of athletes who are suffering financially at this time.

We hope that this support will help those athletes preparing for international competition, including next year’s Olympic Games, to sustain their training, support their families and that this will relieve them of some stress in these uncertain times.’’El Guerrouj said: “The pandemic is causing economic pain to people from all parts of society, including athletes, and this is a time when we must come together as a global community to help each other.

I am delighted that Seb and World Athletics reacted so positively to my suggestion that we create a fund for athletes, and have made it happen with the support of the International Athletics Foundation.

The suspension of competition has had a huge impact on many professional athletes because they can’t earn prize money so I’m really pleased that we have found a way to assist them.”

(04/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World 1,500m champion Cheruiyot rues missed chance to break record

World 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot has said he had high hopes of peaking at the right time this season to make a serious attempt on the world record.

"When the year started, I had two items I wanted to accomplish - winning Olympic gold and breaking the world record. At the moment, the Olympic dream is gone, moved to 2021 and the dream chance of running at the higher level at full throttle looks bleak," he said on Sunday.

Hicham El Guerrouj's record of 3:26.00 has stood the test of time for over two decades and Cheruiyot, who has seen his rise from obscurity to blossom as a world champion feels he was the man to finally shatter the record.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has nipped in the bud his dream as he has no idea when he will return to action.

Cheruiyot is worried many athletes will struggle to regain fitness and sharpness in competition whenever the ban on sports competition is lifted.

With the shutdown of all training camps in Kenya, Cheruiyot, like many other athletes is facing the prospect of lazing at home in 2020 after the Covid-19 global pandemic wrecked the sports calendar.

Cheruiyot now has turned his focus on staying safe and forgotten his hope of chasing records.

His best time on the miler is 3:28.41, which he posted in Monaco in 2018.

"People break records when they run regularly and competitively at the highest level. So clearly from where we stand that is not going to be the case this year," he added.

Meanwhile, Olympic 5,000m silver medalist Hellen Obiri has urged fellow athletes to follow social distancing and practice good hygiene standards.

Obiri, the world 5,000m champion, who has been forced to amend her training program, says she only has one session in the morning to train.

She believes, like other sectors, sports will have to suffer initially before order is restored. However, she believes she will emerge out of the self-quarantine stronger and ready to battle her way to the top to win the only medal missing in her collection, Olympic gold.

"I have to train alone and it is difficult. It requires a lot of discipline and focus because distractions are many," Obiri said on Monday in Nairobi.

"These are difficult times, which call for special measures. As athletes and role models we must sensitise the need to keep safe and follow government directives. We must be very careful, that is why I can only afford to train once a day."

With no Diamond League meetings and the World Athletics Continental Tour having been postponed, Obiri has had to be careful not to peak too soon.

"There will be time for action and the important thing now is to remain safe and healthy. When everything is done and there is no coronavirus, we will train as a team and compete at the highest stage again," she said.

World Athletics President Seb Coe has said it will be a lot harder to stage all competitions in 2020 when the situation allows and athletes will have to select which events to take part in after Covid-19 is defeated.

(04/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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World Athletics announces protected window for 2020 national championships

World Athletics has put aside the weekend of 8-9 August, 2020, as the protected window for national championships this year, following the disruption of the international competition calendar by the coronavirus pandemic.

The newly established Global Calendar Unit has engaged actively with Member Federations, Area Associations, meeting directors and the World Athletics Athletes’ Commission in order to identify this window, a weekend when no Wanda Diamond League or World Athletics Continental Tour meetings are scheduled to be held this year.

The purpose of creating a protected window is to allow athletes to be able to compete in their national championships without scheduling conflicts, and Member Federations are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity if it is safe for athletes to compete in August. This applies primarily to the Northern Hemisphere, which is in its outdoor season.

The Athletes’ Commission has advised that elite athletes have a strong desire to compete this year if possible, and World Athletics will do everything it can to conduct an international competition season later this year to assist athletes to prepare for the Tokyo Olympic Games next year.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said: “None of us can predict the future in these unprecedented times but we do know that different countries are at different stages of managing this pandemic so we are trying to give a structure to our athletes and Member Federations so they can begin to plan for the year ahead. If it is at all possible, we will schedule a belated outdoor season from August to October to help our athletes to figure out where they stand after the disruption of this year.

“We are hopeful that this can begin with national championships in many Northern Hemisphere countries in early August as travel restrictions across country borders will not impact these events. This will be followed by what we hope will be a solid international season, but of course we are dependent on the global response to the pandemic. Nevertheless, we think it’s better to offer our stakeholders some hope of a return to normalcy later this year.”

The Global Calendar Unit continues to work with the Diamond League and Continental Tour to reschedule the rest of the 2020 season and an announcement is expected towards the end of April.

Because of the uncertainty surrounding the ability of all countries to resume competition at the same time or for athletes to have equal access to major competitions this year, the suspension of the Olympic qualification process will remain in place from 6 April to 30 November, 2020, as announced earlier this week.

This means that any results posted during this period will not be eligible for Olympic qualification or world ranking points.

Looking forward to next year, the Global Calendar Unit has agreed that the 2021 national championships protected windows will be on 5-6 June and 26-27 June, 2021, just prior to the end of the qualifying period for the Tokyo Olympic Games (June 29, 2021).

(04/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Athletics Championships Oregon pushed to 2022, dates have been confirmed

The World Athletics Championships in Oregon have been rescheduled to 15-24 July in 2022, following the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Oregon World Championships were originally scheduled for 6-15 August, 2021, but have been rescheduled to the following year to avoid a clash with the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The World Athletics Council approved the new dates this week after extensive discussions with the sport’s stakeholders including organisers of two other major championships due to take place in July-August 2022, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and the multisport European Championships in Munich.

The new schedule will prevent a direct conflict between any of these major events and, with careful programming, will ensure athletes can compete in up to three world-class competitions.

In an extraordinary international season for athletics, all three events will be held across an unprecedent summer of sport. The World Championships will begin a unique celebration of the sport, followed by the Commonwealth Games and the European Athletics Championships as part of the European Championships.

"This will be a bonanza for athletics fans around the world," World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said.

"They will be treated to six weeks of absolutely first-class athletics. More than 70 of our Member Federations are part of the Commonwealth and more than 50 of our Member Federations are European so our guiding principle in rescheduling the World Championships was to ensure enough space was created around the centrepiece World Athletics Championship for athletes to choose other major events to compete in. We were also very mindful that we did not want to damage the other major championships in 2022, because they are also very important to our sport.

"We believe we have found a solution that will allow athletes who are eligible for the other two events to compete in them with the Commonwealth Games Federation planning to stage the athletics programme towards the end of their event. This will showcase our sport to its best advantage in the circumstances and we will continue collaborating with all competitions on the detailed programming.

"We would not have chosen to have three major championships back-to-back but it will give us a unique opportunity to promote our sport and its stars around the globe over a six-week period.

"I want to particularly thank Oregon 21 LLC and all its stakeholders for their collaboration and flexibility as well as all World Athletics’ partners and broadcasters who are so critical to delivering the Games and taking it into the homes of millions of fans."

Niels de Vos, Executive Director of the World Athletics Championships Oregon 22, said: "I should like to thank Oregon’s stakeholders for committing so early to the postponement, allowing maximum flexibility on dates for our friends at World Athletics, just as they have been flexible with us in ensuring our plans can remain on track despite the 12 month postponement. Oregon 22, as we must now get used to calling it, will be kickstarting a global festival of international track and field championships in the summer of 2022 that will be a fantastic experience for athletes and fans alike."

CGF President Louise Martin said: “I would like to thank the leadership of World Athletics for a hugely constructive approach to working with the CGF. Our collective objective has been to ensure that, in this unprecedented time of global upheaval in all our lives, as well as its impact on the international sports calendar, the interests of athletes are at the centre of all decision-making. We will continue to work together to create space within our schedules to provide athletes with the opportunity to safely compete to the best of their abilities at multiple world class events."

Libor Varhaník, Interim Chair of the European Championships Munich 2022, said: "On behalf of all the stakeholders of the multi-sport European Championships Munich 2022, I would like to thank World Athletics for working constructively and collaboratively with us in finding a new event date that respects the major events already scheduled in 2022. The international sports calendar has been hugely impacted as we battle this terrible global health crisis, and in discussions with World Athletics and the Commonwealth Games Federation our mutual goal has been to put the interest of our athletes at the forefront of our thoughts.

"The European Championships will continue to work closely with World Athletics and the Commonwealth Games Federation to ensure that athletes, media and sports fans are able to enjoy an amazing summer of sport across three world-class events in 2022, from Oregon to Birmingham and culminating in Munich in August on the 50th anniversary of its hosting of the Olympic Games".

(04/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is suspended from April 6 2020 until November 30 2020

World Athletics announces today the qualification period for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is suspended effective from 6 April 2020 until 30 November 2020 included, following consultation with its Athletes' Commission, Area Presidents and Council.

During this period, results achieved at any competition will not be considered for Tokyo 2020 entry standards or world rankings, the publication of which will also be suspended.

Results will continue to be recorded for statistical purposes, including for world records, subject to the applicable conditions. But they will not be used to establish an athlete’s qualification status.

Subject to the global situation returning to normal, the qualification period will resume on 1 December 2020 and continue to the new qualification deadline in 2021 set by the International Olympic Committee (see qualification period table at the end). The total qualification period, which started in 2019, will be four months longer than it was originally.

Commenting on the decision, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “I am grateful for the detailed work and feedback from our Athletes' Commission and Council who believe suspending Olympic qualification during this period gives more certainty for athlete planning and preparation and is the best way to address fairness in what is expected to be the uneven delivery of competition opportunities across the globe for athletes given the challenges of international travel and government border restrictions.”

Athletes who have already met the entry standard since the start of the qualification period in 2019 remain qualified and will be eligible for selection by their respective Member Federations and National Olympic Committees, together with the other athletes who will qualify within the extended qualification period. The end of the Olympic qualification periods are 31 May 2021 (for 50km race walk and marathon) and 29 June 2021 for all other events.

(04/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by world Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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41-year-old athlete Edwin Kirwa won the Innovative Covid-19 Half Marathon in Iten Kenya

41-year-old athlete Edwin Kirwa won a one-of-its-kind half marathon that was held over the weekend dubbed the CoronaRun Half Marathon.

Kirwa, who is based in Embu, clocked a commendable 1 hour, 1 minute and 52 seconds for the 21km event.

Felix Kandie (1:03:31), who was running along the Iten-Kaptagat road came in second.

“This race has enabled me to know if I was on the right training schedule towards Boston Marathon which was to take place on April 20,” observed Kandie.

The unique race concept was developed by Dutch elite athlete management company Volare sports and involved over two dozen runners, Daily Nation reported.

Kicking off countrywide at 8 a.m. on April 4, each athlete raced around their home or compound of their choice in compliance with the social distancing directive, vital in combating the spread of Covid-19.

The athletes were then required to time themselves, and via GPS system, their finishing times were clocked at the Volae sports headquarters in Voorthuizen,  Netherlands.

The women's race was won by Fancy Chemutai from Kericho who clocked 1:10:05, with Margaret Wanjiru (1:15:28) declared the 1st runners up.

Hanna Biwott-van de Veen, Athletes Representative at Volare Sports, revealed that the innovative race concept was taken up by the enthusiastic athletes the moment it was pitched to them.

"On March 21, we informed the athletes of the idea and most of them responded very positively. As a management, we wanted to stimulate the athletes to keep training and keep their focus after all races having being cancelled,

All of them were disappointed and even frustrated that the coronavirus is spoiling their chances of winning races and running personal best times," she explained.

The virtual race has been hailed by the athletes as an innovative option to beat the Covid-19 lockdown and was a welcome relief for the elite athletes who had been starved of any competition following the outbreak of the deadly virus.

World Athletics President Seb Coe recently challenged stakeholders in the athletics world by announcing that the only way forward for the sport, post-coronavirus, was innovation.

(04/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Eddy Mwanza
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Coe says World Athletics Championships could move to 2022

The World Athletics Championships could be moved from next year to 2022 to accommodate the rearranged Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, according to World Athletics President Sebastian Coe.

Coe said today that his sport’s flagship Championships, due to take place in Oregon from August 6 to 15, could be moved from 2021 to give space to the Tokyo Games, which have been postponed for up to a year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"Nobody saw this problem (with the virus)...so the flexibility here is very important," Coe told Japanese media in a teleconference.

Should the biennial Championships be postponed for a year, he said it would still be possible to "have a 2022 and 2023 Championships back to back," although he added that was a matter of speculation at this point.

Speaking in a later teleconference with African and European media, Coe accepted that a delay of a year could mean more Russian athletes taking part in the next Olympics and Paralympics as their federation seeks to restore faith in its operation following the long-standing doping scandal.

At the World Athletics Council meeting in Monaco earlier this month the world governing body decided to introduce a cap of 10 neutral Russian athletes competing in forthcoming major events, adding it was aimed at accelerating change in the Russian system.

But asked today, Coe responded: “I think that is something we would want to be discussing with our Task Force.

“But looking down the road, everybody is in a different landscape so that will have to be looked at.”

Asked if there might be an upside for the Oregon organisers to have an extra year to prepare – and if there would be a downside in staging the next World Championships a year ahead of the scheduled 2023 version in Budapest, Coe told insidethegames:

“Nothing has been decided yet, but no International Federation is likely to be comfortable holding its World Championships in the same year as an Olympics.

“If we were to hold the next World Championships in 2022, a year after the Games, you would have the next ones in 2023, and then be in the Olympic Games in 2024.

“You would have athletics centre stage for four consecutive years…I think we could live with that, and that athletes could live with that.

“But it is still a matter for consideration.”

Earlier this week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach agreed to push back the Summer Olympic Games, with the IOC Board approving it on grounds of safeguarding the health and safety of athletes.

In a statement earlier this week, World Athletics said it was already working to “ensure that Oregon is able to host the World Athletics Championships on alternative dates, should that prove necessary.”

Coe, the chairman of the 2012 London Olympic Organising Committee, expressed his support for the decision to push back the Tokyo Olympics, saying, "It was not an easy decision," adding everyone did what they could do at every level.

"No decisions will be made until we see the Tokyo dates," Coe said from his home in London.

Asked his opinion on possibly holding the Tokyo Olympics outside the summer months, Coe said, "I don't want to speculate on that. Because the meeting, the conference call that took place with the IOC yesterday, had all the International Federations on board and we all agreed those conversations will remain private."

Some international sports federations have suggested holding the Games in spring as a means to avoid the sweltering Tokyo summer.

However Coe indicated the view World Athletics have on the spring/summer question when he responded to a suggestion by Spanish paper Marca that never in history have there been good track and field performances in April and May.

Coe responded with a single sentence: "I wouldn't disagree with you."

On the idea of moving the marathon back to the capital from Sapporo should the Olympics be held at a cooler time, which Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike endorsed, Coe also answered that it is "very early to start speculating."

Since concerns over uncertainty in the qualification status of athletes emerged following the announcement of the delay of the Olympics, Coe said in addressing the issue, "A large number of athletes are already qualified and if they are qualified, they remain qualified."

For athletes who have not qualified for the Olympic Games, "a fair process" will be provided, he said, stressing the importance of transparency in the process at the same time.

He added: "As of today, all athletes who have met the entry standards for their event will remain qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021.”

(03/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Irish marathon runner Kevin Seaward believes Olympics probably won't happen

Irish marathon runner Kevin Seaward feels there is "every likelihood" this year's Olympics will not take place because of the coronavirus crisis.

Seaward ran the distance for Ireland at the Rio Games and set a new Northern Ireland marathon record of 2:10.09 last month to seemingly book his Tokyo spot.

"The Olympics symbolize something more than a Games at the moment," he said.

"It would be a beacon of hope for people. But I honestly don't think they are going to happen."

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is continuing to insist the Games could still begin on 24 July despite the pandemic but several high profile athletes including British heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson have criticized this stance.

World champion Johnson-Thompson says training has become "impossible" because of the restrictions around coronavirus and has had to move back home from her normal base in France after the country was put on lockdown.

As a distance runner who does most of his workouts alone and rarely uses a track, Seaward says his training is not being hindered to the same extent as the Englishwoman, but nevertheless feels the IOC will have to at least move the Games to a later date if not cancel altogether.

Seaward, 36, is an assistant head teacher at a Leicestershire secondary school and has been working flat out with his colleagues to make arrangements for the children of key workers who will remain in school in the coming weeks after the British Government's school closures announcement on Wednesday.

"It's challenging times. School has been pretty crazy the last three or four days but we've got a little bit of clarity now," the Northern Irishman told BBC Sport Northern Ireland.

"You don't know that the Olympics are going to happen. I've come to the conclusion that there's every likelihood of them not happening. We've certainly got bigger things to worry about globally at the minute."

Seaward believes the postponement and cancellation of numerous Olympic qualifiers and other events which would have offered the opportunity to book Tokyo berths is another reason why the Games are unlikely to happen - certainly in the summer.

"I read an article today where Seb Coe said it was too early to make a decision (on the Games) and I kind of agree it's too early to definitively say yes or no.

"Aside from the fact that what we're experiencing now may not have cleared by then, people still have to qualify. There's a lot of thought that would have to go into making the process fair for everyone.

"From a marathoner's perspective, we have three Irish qualifiers (Seaward, Paul Pollock and Stephen Scullion) but we also know there are multiple other guys (Sean Tobin, Hugh Armstrong and Mick Clohisey) who were training hard and who were determined to give it a go to qualify but their marathons were cancelled."

(03/20/2020) ⚡AMP
by John Haughey
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Russian Athletics Federation was given an unprecedented fine of $10 million for breaking anti-doping rules

The decision came after discovering in November 2019 that Russian officials had been falsifying documents related to high jumper Danil Lysenko’s whereabouts when he was expected to take an out-of-competition test.

Both Lysenko and his coach have since been suspended by the AIU (Athletics Integrity Unit).

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe told The Guardian on Thursday that he hopes this sanction creates real change within the Russian system.

The Russian federation was suspended in 2015 following allegations of a widespread state-sponsored doping of athletes at the Sochi Winter Games of 2014, but in September 2018 the suspension was lifted early, prompting an outcry from numerous athletes. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was given a deadline for handing over data from their Moscow Laboratory, which it failed to meet, leading to a ban handed down in December 2019, which remains under appeal.

High jumper Mariya Lasitskene and pole vaulter Anzhelika Sidorova competed as neutral athletes at the 2019 World Championships in Doha. Both won gold medals in their events.

Half of the total owed, $5 million, must be paid by July 1, 2020 or the neutral Russian athletes will have their Olympic status revoked.

(03/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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The runner’s guide to parenting

GB distance runner Jo Wilkinson reflects on sharing her passion for athletics with her son, knowing when to support and advise and knowing the difference between being a coach and being a parent

Like all parenting – whether it’s about restrictions on TV or eating broccoli – it’s easy to have pre-conceived ideas about what makes a good parent. Then you have your own children and find out it’s not so easy in practice.

It’s no different in sport – especially when your children get involved in the sport that you love. After spending the weekend knee deep in mud watching my son at the Midlands Schools Cross Country, the long journey home gave me plenty of time to reflect on what makes a good parent in athletics – and whether I am one.

When you’ve been a runner for many years you think you know a thing or two about it. It’s even worse if you’re also a qualified coach. Even if you’re not, I’m pretty sure we all indulge in glorious fantasies about coaching our child to their first Olympic Gold.

There are some very famous parent-coaches – Peter and Seb Coe, Liz and Eilish McColgan and now the Ingebrigtsen family. But for most children and parents it just doesn’t work. I’ll happily share my knowledge and experience of athletics with my son – when asked.

There’s got to be some advantage to having a parent who’s been a successful athlete. However, I’ve realised when it comes to my son’s running, my job is to be his mum and let his coach do the coaching.

Which brings me onto the second most favourite runner-parent fantasy – the one where they storm away to victory in each and every race. Here’s where the reality check is even more important. Even as a pretty good runner, the races I won were far out-numbered by those I didn’t.

Sport is competitive and winning is amazing. But I know that my enjoyment and sense of achievement from running has been based on far more than just winning. As a former elite athlete I know what it’s like to feel pressure. Pressure can be positive and bring out the best in you.

Too many times though, I’ve seen how too much pressure from over-competitive parents, even well-intentioned ones, sucks all the fun out of competition. So contrary to expectations, much as I love the fantasy, as long as my son does his best, runs well and is proud of himself, winning isn’t everything.

However, it’s the nerves that have surprised me the most as a runner-parent. I always got incredibly nervous before my races but found constructive ways to manage them. The gut-wrenching nervous anticipation as a parent is far worse than it ever was as an athlete. What’s more, I can’t let my son see how nervous I am. I’m there to make him feel better not the other way round. All the more reason to let his coach do the coaching while I go off somewhere else and get rid of my nervous energy out of sight.

I now look back with hindsight at my own parents and realise how fortunate I was. At the time I didn’t realise just how immensely proud they were of what I achieved. But equally they never put made me feel that their enjoyment and pride was dependent on whether I won. I only ever remember them being cross with me after one race. However, their disappointment was with my sulky, rude behaviour not my poor performance.

They were always unfailingly encouraging and supportive. And in the case of my Dad – very vocally supportive. You could hear him enthusiastically calling for me on from the other side of the track. But it wasn’t just for me. He shouted on everyone – my competitors and teammates alike.

Petty parental rivalry was not for them. They talked to anyone and everyone. Years later, many of my childhood rivals still warmly remember my Dad shouting them on as they ran. It was a great example of how to get it right. And that’s how I would like to be as a running parent too.

If you’re an athlete, you really hope that your child will take up the sport that you love and rarely consider the challenge it presents – the terrible nerves, the need to be a parent not a coach, reigning in your competitiveness, accepting the difference between fantasy and reality and the miles spent driving them all over the place. I will do my best to be a good parent because it’s worth it all to see my son grow to love the sport too.

(02/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by Fast Running
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World Athletics modifies rules governing competition shoes for elite athletes

World Athletics has today amended its rules governing competition shoes to provide greater clarity to athletes and shoe manufacturers around the world and to protect the integrity of the sport.

The rule amendments (link) that the World Athletics Council has this week approved were recommended by its Assistance Review Group, an internal working group containing technical, scientific and legal experts as well as athlete representatives.

From 30 April 2020, any shoe must have been available for purchase by any athlete on the open retail market (online or in store) for a period of four months before it can be used in competition.

If a shoe is not openly available to all then it will be deemed a prototype and use of it in competition will not be permitted. Subject to compliance with the rules, any shoe that is available to all, but is customised for aesthetic reasons, or for medical reasons to suit the characteristics of a particular athlete’s foot, will be allowed.

Where World Athletics has reason to believe that a type of shoe or specific technology may not be compliant with the rules or the spirit of the rules, it may submit the shoe or technology for study and may prohibit the use of the shoe or technology while it is under examination.

Further, with immediate effect there will be an indefinite moratorium on any shoe (whether with or without spikes) that does not meet the following requirements:

The sole must be no thicker than 40mm.

The shoe must not contain more than one rigid embedded plate or blade (of any material) that runs either the full length or only part of the length of the shoe. The plate may be in more than one part but those parts must be located sequentially in one plane (not stacked or in parallel) and must not overlap.

For a shoe with spikes, an additional plate (to the plate mentioned above) or other mechanism is permitted, but only for the purpose of attaching the spikes to the sole, and the sole must be no thicker than 30mm.

The competition referee will have the power to request that an athlete immediately provide their shoes for inspection at the conclusion of a race if the referee has a reasonable suspicion that the shoes worn by an athlete do not comply with the rules.

The Assistance Review Group has concluded that there is independent research that indicates that the new technology incorporated in the soles of road and spiked shoes may provide a performance advantage and there is sufficient evidence to raise concerns that the integrity of the sport might be threatened by the recent developments in shoe technology.

It has therefore recommended that further research be undertaken to establish the true impact of this technology and that a new working group, comprising biomechanics specialists and other qualified experts, be formed to oversee this research, and to assess any new shoes that enter the market, where required. Shoe manufacturers will be invited to be part of this assessment process.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “It is not our job to regulate the entire sports shoe market but it is our duty to preserve the integrity of elite competition by ensuring that the shoes worn by elite athletes in competition do not offer any unfair assistance or advantage. As we enter the Olympic year, we don’t believe we can rule out shoes that have been generally available for a considerable period of time, but we can draw a line by prohibiting the use of shoes that go further than what is currently on the market while we investigate further.

“I believe these new rules strike the right balance by offering certainty to athletes and manufacturers as they prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, while addressing the concerns that have been raised about shoe technology. If further evidence becomes available that indicates we need to tighten up these rules, we reserve the right to do that to protect our sport."

“I would like to thank the Assistance Review Group, chaired by International Technical Official Brian Roe, for its diligent examination of this issue and sound guidance."

World Athletics will now establish an expert working group to guide future research into shoe technology (and consider any regulatory implications that that research might have), and to assess new shoes that emerge on the market. This group will report to the Competitions Commission, and ultimately to the Council.

World Athletics remains open to continued dialogue with shoe manufacturers and other interested stakeholders regarding the amended rules and their impact as well as the broader question of how to balance shoe technology and innovation with World Athletics' legitimate interest in preserving integrity in its sport.

 

(02/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Athletics President Sebastian Coe inaugurates new NACAC headquarters in Nassau

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe joined newly elected area president Mike Sands at the inauguration of the new NACAC Athletics Association headquarters in Nassau, The Bahamas, on Tuesday.

Formerly in Puerto Rico, the NACAC headquarters are now based at Thomas A Robinson Stadium in the Bahamian capital.

Coe's trip to Nassau began with the NACAC Council Meeting on Monday. During his time in The Bahamas, Coe also met with Governor General Cornelius A Smith, Minister of Youth Sport and Culture Lanisha Rolle, Bahamas Athletics Federation Drumeco Archer, and sponsors of Bahamas Marathon.

He also took time to have a trackside chat with young local athletes during their training session at the Thomas A Robinson Stadium.

“The strength of athletics is based on hardworking member federations who look to our continental associations for support and strategic direction,” said Coe. “NACAC is a good example of this strong relationship and I am delighted to have formally opened the new NACAC headquarters in Nassau, The Bahamas.

“This facility I know will help drive another lustrous chapter in the history and great contribution that NACAC has given to World Athletics. I would particularly like to thank Bahamas Athletics (the BAAA), and its President Drumeco Archer, and the Bahamas government for the work behind the scenes in realising this new headquarters.”

"Having the NACAC headquarters in The Bahamas is a hugely exciting opportunity," said Sands. I'd like to extend my thanks and appreciation to the Bahamas government, through the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.

"NACAC's aim is to consolidate and improve on our position within the world of athletics," he added. "This means ensuring that our athletes are at the centre of all of our development plans while facilitating the enhancement of the capacities of our coaches, technical officials and administrators throughout our area."

(01/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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The film ‘Bannister: Everest on the Track’ takes FICA Golden Achilles prize

The US-produced film Bannister: Everest on the Track has won the top prize, the Golden Achilles, at the second International Athletics Film Festival in San Sebastian.

The announcement was made on Saturday (9) after a week-long series of screenings in the Basque city and follows in the footsteps of Town of Runners which won in 2018.

This year’s winning film looks at the motivations that inspired Roger Bannister to his historic feat of being the first person to run under four minutes for the mile and puts it in a historic context of what it meant to the British public, coming as it did less than nine years after the end of World War II.

To quote from one of the reviews when the film was first released: “Everest on the Track is as much a historical study of Britain's psychological, if not almost physical, need for something – anything – to erase the woes of World War II as it is a fresh look at the quest for the first sub-4:00 mile, the heretofore deemed physically impossible.”

Among those interviewed during the documentary are Bannister himself, one of his pacemakers Chris Chataway, who was later to go on and break the 5000m world record, as well as US runner George Dole who competed in the famous race at Iffley Road while a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University.

Also interviewed are spectators on that day more than 65 years ago, 6 May 1954, when one of the most well-known feats in sporting history was achieved, as well as journalists and historians along with future world mile world record holders John Landy – with whom Bannister was in a long-distance duel to become the first man to go under the historic barrier – Sebastian Coe and Steve Cram.

Back to the beginning

“We first started thinking about the film in 2014 when there was the 60th anniversary of the four-minute mile,” said the film’s director Tom Ratcliffe, who was in San Sebastian to hear the announcement that his documentary had taken the top prize. “It’s a feat that has a heritage and legacy unlike any other in athletics and perhaps sport as a whole. Roger Bannister’s achievement is one that still resonates today.

“We were very lucky in so far as one of the first people we interviewed was Chris Chataway. He was wonderfully erudite, entertaining and enthusiastic even though he was very ill with lung cancer and sadly died not long after the interviews.

“Roger (Bannister) was a bit more reticent at first. Helpful, but reserved. I think he thought ‘Oh, it’s just another interview’, but once he saw an early version of what we were doing, he then relaxed and was very generous. He said to call him whenever I was in England and I went to his house several times to do some further interviews.

“The first full version came out in 2016 and then the film has been revised since then in 2018 to take account of Roger’s death. We had many wonderful interviews and it was a case of weaving them together into a coherent film.”

(11/16/2019) ⚡AMP
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A glacier on the Italian side of Mont Blanc is at risk of collapsing from melt linked to climate change and threatens UTMB Trails

One month after 2,300 runners toed the line at the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, part of the course has been closed due to rapid glacial melt.

A glacier on the Italian side of Mont Blanc glacier is at risk of collapsing from melt linked to climate change. The Planprincieux Glacier sits on the Grandes Jorasses peak on the Mont Blanc massif above Courmayeur, Italy.  The small resort town is the halfway point for the UTMB and the starting point for the TDS and CCC races. 

Scientists have been using radar technology to monitor the glacier since 2013, and detected the accelerated melting via radar this summer. A summer heatwave is causing a lower chunk of the glacier to melt at a rate of two feet per day, according to glaciologist and alpinist Ulyana Horodyskyj, who has climbed Mont Blanc.

“The high air temperatures this summer have led to more melting and faster movement of the glacier down the mountain,” says Horodyskyj. “The glacier is always moving and always has a large crevasse, but this summer it’s melting faster and the crevasse is bigger.” The part of the glacier below the crevasse could break, and separate entirely. 

If it collapses, 250,000 cubic meters of ice could tear away from the mountain and crash into trails, roads and alpine refuges below. That impending danger has prompted road closures and evacuations. 

“For this region, in particular, the biggest impacts will be on tourism,” says Horodyskyj. 

Glacial melt could endanger trails like those on the UTMB course, and also affect local water supplies. Though it’s impossible to predict when exactly the glacier could collapse, the glacier’s speed has local officials and scientists concerned. 

“These phenomena once again shows that the mountain is going through a phase of strong change due to climatic factors. Therefore it is particularly vulnerable,” said the mayor of Courmayeur, Stefano Miserocchi, in a statement. 

Scientists have been monitoring thousands of glaciers across the Aosta Valley Region. Temperate glaciers, like the ones on Mont Blanc,  are essentially at melting point. Liquid water coexists with glacial ice, which makes them especially vulnerable to temperature variation caused by climate change. If greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate, alpine glaciers would shed half of their ice by 2050. They could lose over 80 percent of their ice by 2100, according to Horodyskyj. 

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte warned the United Nations General Assembly last week that this news just the beginning, and that Mont Blanc’s future “must shake us all and force us to mobilize”. 

(10/15/2019) ⚡AMP
by Zoe Rom
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North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

Mountain race, with numerous passages in high altitude (>2500m), in difficult weather conditions (night, wind, cold, rain or snow), that needs a very good training, adapted equipment and a real capacity of personal autonomy. It is 6:00pm and we are more or less 2300 people sharing the same dream carefully prepared over many months. Despite the incredible difficulty, we feel...

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The name of IAAF will change to World Athletics in October at the conclusion of the World Championships

Though some countries claimed the new name does not translate well in all languages, the change will take effect at the conclusion of the World Championships.

After debating the issue at its biannual meeting coinciding with the World Championships in Doha, the IAAF Council voted on Thursday to change its name to World Athletics. This was on the heels of Sebastian Coe’s unanimous re-election Wednesday for another four-year term as president.

Though there was strong debate, with some French-speaking countries claiming the new name does not translate well into their language, Coe defended the move, saying it would make the organization more recognizable and attractive to a younger audience.

The name change is due to take effect after the conclusion of the World Championships currently underway in Doha.

The organization, founded in 1912 as the International Amateur Athletic Federation, changed its name in 2001 to International Association of Athletic Federations, which has the same initials, to reflect the fact that many of the athletes represented are, in fact, professionals and not amateurs.

The new brand identity for World Athletics is a stylized W for World, which is also symbolic of an athlete raising their arms in victory, and A for Athletics, which also represents the athlete’s focus in preparing for competition, with the purple and orange background representing the upward-sweeping lanes of a track.

Coe succeeded Lamine Diack as president in 2015. Diack has since been charged with corruption, influence-trafficking and money laundering with regard to the Russian doping scandal of 2015. His trial is expected to begin next year.

(09/30/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Sebastian Coe praises Tokyo 2020 marathon route after test event

International Association of Athletics Federations President Sebastian Coe has praised the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games marathon course, after a test event was held in the Japanese capital.

The warm-up races on Sunday (September 15), known as the Marathon Grand Championship, saw Japanese athletes bid to win a spot on the host nation's Olympic team.

Shogo Nakamura and Honami Maeda won the men's and women's races, respectively, and can now look forward to their home Games next year.

Second-place finishers Yuma Hattori and Ayuko Suzuki also qualified.

Runners followed the Olympic route but the start and finish, at Icho Namiki Avenue in Meiji Jingu Gaien Park, was different., as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium is still under construction.

Athletes passed by Tokyo landmarks including the Thunder Gate, Imperial Palace, Zojoji Temple and Nihombashi Bridge.

The course is mainly flat and similar to the one used at the Tokyo Marathon, part of the World Marathon Majors series.

"The marathon is a growing highlight of the athletics programme, with imaginative courses that show off the best of cities and are challenging for athletes and fan-friendly," said Coe, a double Olympic gold medallist for Britain over 1,500 metres.

"This marathon course highlights the essence of Tokyo – a blend of tradition and modernity."

The heat at the test event reached up to 28 degrees centigrade with a 75 per cent humidity.

Even warmer conditions are expected when the Olympics are held in July and August, a major headache for organisers after dozens of heat-related deaths in Tokyo.

The Olympic marathons start-time has already been moved back to 6am to avoid the hottest parts of the day.

Organisers used the test event to assess issues they may face next year.

(09/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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Migrant workers and children to pad out crowd for World Championships

Ticket sales for the World Athletics Championships in Doha are far more sluggish than expected, making it highly likely that large numbers of free tickets will be given away to migrant workers and children who will be bused in by organisers, informed sources have told the Guardian.

Organizers are already blanking off the top section of the 40,000-seater Khalifa International Stadium to make the event, which starts on Friday, look better on TV. However, even with a reduced capacity and reasonable ticket prices starting at 60 Qatari rial (£13), seats are still readily available.

Sources have told the Guardian that 50,000 tickets have been sold across the 10 days of action – and that migrant workers and children will be bused in to stop the stadium appearing more than half-empty on TV. That is a far cry from the optimism displayed when tickets went on sale, with organisers promising that there had been “registrations of interest from literally all corners of the world”.

An IAAF spokesperson accepted ticket sales had been “challenging” but said nobody could have foreseen the boycott of Qatar by other gulf states, making it impossible for some fans in the region to watch the championships.

When asked about the possibility of tickets being given away, the spokesperson added: “Surely it is a good thing that communities across Qatar will be getting tickets? We believe it will inspire a whole new generation of fans into the sport.”

More than 1,800 athletes from around 150 countries are expected to take part in the world championships, which will be held in the Middle East for the first time.

However, Doha is not one of the traditional hotbeds of the sport and the event takes place at a time of year when the season is usually over. Nonetheless, the IAAF president, Seb Coe, has insisted that the championships will help track and field expand into new territories.

Organisers have promised a raft of innovations for the event, including two miniature cameras in each starting block that will show the first pictures of athletes’ faces in the 100m moments before they hear the starting pistol, and capture the explosion of energy as the athletes leave the blocks.

(09/28/2019) ⚡AMP
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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ASICS and the IAAF will extend partnership until 2029

ASICS and the IAAF are delighted to announce the renewal of their partnership and ASICS’ commitment to the world of athletics with the signing today of a new 10-year agreement as an Official IAAF Partner.

As Official IAAF Partner, ASICS will be present at and involved in all World Athletics Series events from 2020 to 2029, including the World Athletics Championships 2021 in Oregon and the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023.

As part of the agreement, ASICS will kit out the officials and volunteers at all IAAF World Athletics Series events with ASICS’ footwear and apparel that will ensure the smooth running of these events.

For ASICS this important partnership will allow a strategic expansion of its brand recognition internationally by association with the world’s top athletics events that are viewed by significant global audiences.

ASICS Chairman and CEO, Representative Director Motoi Oyama, stated: “I am so happy to have the honour of continuing our support of the IAAF as an Official Partner.

The signing of this multi-year agreement is a demonstration of ASICS’ hope to both develop excellent products and contribute to the growth of the sporting world as a whole by supporting athletics around the globe as an Official Partner of the IAAF.”

IAAF President Sebastian Coe commented: “Global athletics is based upon solid foundations of modern governance and a renewed determination to protect and promote clean athletes. We are delighted to have the continued support and commitment of ASICS, a true sport performance brand, which will enable us to build on the successful partnership we began in 2017. This new agreement is a huge endorsement of a bright future for athletics whose universality and diversity makes it a natural partner for a global corporation like ASICS.

We are excited to have a partner who shares our vision for a youthful innovative sport that promotes fair competition and healthy living.”

(09/27/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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The IAAF will make extra provisions to avoid extreme heat at world championships in Qatar

The IAAF president, Sebastian Coe, says extra medical staff, ice baths and water will be brought in for the women’s marathon on Friday amid growing concerns about the extreme conditions at the World Athletics Championships in Qatar.

Despite the race starting at 11.59pm local time, temperatures in Doha are expected to be around 32C (90F) with humidity forecast at 80%, and there are concerns that the race could turn into a dangerous farce if the brutal weather forces many athletes to drop out.

But Lord Coe, who was re-elected president of athletics’ governing body on Wednesday , said there were no plans to cancel the women’s marathon or the men’s 50km walk on Saturday while insisting that protecting competitors was his first priority.

“We have to be mindful of the welfare of the athletes,” he said. “We have a medical team who will monitor conditions all the time. We’ve undertaken a lot of work on heat management. We recognise that the road events are those that need to be carefully monitored. We have more medical supervision, more water available. There’s no plan to cancel.”

Writing on social media, the British distance runner Helen Davies, who competed in the 2010 Commonwealth Games marathon in Delhi in 30C (86F) and 90% humidity, said it was “ludicrous, not to mention dangerous and potentially fatal” to run in such conditions. Writing of her experience, she said: “In the last 5km I was hallucinating and felt like I was cold, despite being the complete opposite, very scary. I would be very worried if I was heading into that marathon.”

Coe conceded that the race, in which Tish Jones and Charlotte Purdue will compete for Britain, would be tough but refused to be drawn on whether it would turn into a farce.

“I don’t want to speculate on that, but, of course, I want as many people to finish as possible,” he said. “Our medical teams are going to be very good. The heat is actually not the big issue, the issue is humidity, that is the real challenge. We have extra precautions, we do have extra things out on the course. We have more medical supervision, more water available but, yes, it is going to be tough.”

The IAAF also announced it had a budget deficit of $20m (£16m) but Coe insisted a new deal with the Wanda Sports Group in China made him optimistic about the future. “It’s has been a tough four years, there is no point being naive or coy about that,” he said. “I want the next four years to be the fun bit. We have to grow the sport.

“We know we have to reach beyond the beltway of athletics fans. We need to form partnerships at every level. We have to place the sport as a service provider for government agendas and get more people active and physically engaged.”

(09/26/2019) ⚡AMP
by Sean Ingle
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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IAAF´s president Sebastian Coe praises Tokyo 2020 marathon route after test event

International Association of Athletics Federations President Sebastian Coe has praised the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games marathon course, after a test event was held in the Japanese capital.

The warm-up races on Sunday (September 15), known as the Marathon Grand Championship, saw Japanese athletes bid to win a spot on the host nation's Olympic team.

Shogo Nakamura and Honami Maeda won the men's and women's races, respectively, and can now look forward to their home Games next year.

Second-place finishers Yuma Hattori and Ayuko Suzuki also qualified.

Runners followed the Olympic route but the start and finish, at Icho Namiki Avenue in Meiji Jingu Gaien Park, was different., as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium is still under construction.

Athletes passed by Tokyo landmarks including the Thunder Gate, Imperial Palace, Zojoji Temple and Nihombashi Bridge.

The course is mainly flat and similar to the one used at the Tokyo Marathon, part of the World Marathon Majors series.

"The marathon is a growing highlight of the athletics programme, with imaginative courses that show off the best of cities and are challenging for athletes and fan-friendly," said Coe, a double Olympic gold medalist for Britain over 1,500 meters.

"This marathon course highlights the essence of Tokyo – a blend of tradition and modernity."

The heat at the test event reached up to 28 degrees centigrade with a 75 per cent humidity.

Even warmer conditions are expected when the Olympics are held in July and August, a major headache for organizers after dozens of heat-related deaths in Tokyo.

The Olympic marathons start-time has already been moved back to 6am to avoid the hottest parts of the day.

Organizers used the test event to assess issues they may face next year.

(09/18/2019) ⚡AMP
by Dan Palmer
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Poland will host the 2021 IAAF World Relays

The IAAF World Relays will head to Europe for the first time in 2021, with the Polish region of Silesia confirmed today as host of the fifth edition of the biennial event.

The newest addition to the IAAF’s World Athletics Series, the World Relays were held in the Bahamian capital of Nassau for the first three editions, while this year’s event was held in the Japanese city of Yokohama.

Poland has a proven track record of hosting major athletics events with Bydgoszcz having hosted the inaugural IAAF World U18 Championships in 1999 as well as two editions of the IAAF World U20 Championships and IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Sopot staged the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships, while Gdynia is currently preparing to host the 2020 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.

Poland also has a strong recent record in relay events. Their women’s 4x400m team was triumphant in Yokohama earlier this year and at the 2018 European Championships, while their men’s 4x400m squad set a world indoor record en route to taking gold at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018.

Chorzow's Silesian Stadium, which will hold the World Relays on 1-2 May, 2021, has in recent years hosted several well-attended international competitions that form part of the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge, including the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial, which last year attracted a crowd of more than 40,000 people. The Silesian Stadium was also where, in 1969, Nadezhda Chizhova became the first woman ever to surpass 20 metres in the shot put.

The region of Silesia is a major industrial hub and home to almost five million people.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe welcomed Silesia as the first European host of the IAAF World Relays.

“The World Relays is our youngest global event but in just six years it has developed a vibrancy that gives it a unique character,’’ Coe said. “Its focus on team races allows our athletes to show a different side to their sport, and their joy in competing with teammates shines through.”

“We have been blessed with wonderfully enthusiastic crowds at every edition of the World Relays and we are confident that the people of Silesia will provide another lively atmosphere. Poland is one of our most active member federations and has a deserved reputation for delivering excellent athletics events and attracting big crowds, so I’m delighted that we will be bringing another of our World Athletics Series events there in less than two years from now.”

The Marshal of the Silesian Voivodeship, Jakub Chełstowski, said: “The Silesian Stadium has been proving that it is the best athletics stadium in Poland. We have the best infrastructure, and thousands of spectators cheering stars of world athletics create an exceptional atmosphere. The IAAF World Relays will be a great opportunity to see the best runners, but also to inculcate passion for sports among children. In such activities the sports ambassadors of the Silesian Stadium such as Anita Włodarczyk, Justyna Święty-Ersetic and Ewa Swoboda are supporting us. It will also be a wonderful opportunity to promote the Silesian Voivodeship as a region that is worth visiting.”

The 2021 IAAF World Relays will be used as a qualifying competition for relay teams aiming to compete at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Oregon 2021.

(09/08/2019) ⚡AMP
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With just one month to go until the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, the organising committee today revealed the design of the medals to mark the start of the final countdown to the competition

More than 2000 of the world’s top athletes will be competing for 192 medals set to be awarded across 49 finals during the 10-day competition, which gets underway on Friday 27 September.

Paying homage to the Qatari capital, the gold, silver and bronze medals were designed by the all-female branding team in the Qatari capital, showcasing the Doha skyline and illustrations of the iconic Khalifa International Stadium, which will host the championships as it comes to the Middle East for the first time.

With dedicated designs on the medals, the Doha skyline, which will be the backdrop of the marathon and race walk events, makes up the other side of the medal, while 13 different elements of athletics disciplines are also weaved into the design.

Specially handcrafted in Doha by Sndala, the local company has also incorporated traditional Arabic Sadu patterns with a modern sporting twist.

“A medal is the symbol of excellence in our sport,” says IAAF President Sebastian Coe. “It represents all the years of sweat, striving and persistence required to succeed in athletics at the highest level, so the design of the medals must be as special as the achievement in winning them. Our local organizing committee in Doha has done a brilliant job in creating medals that our athletes will be proud to receive as a permanent keepsake of their moment of glory. I’d like to have one myself, so I may have to come out of retirement.”

Speaking on the final preparations and medals for the championships, Sheikha Asma Al Thani, director of Marketing and Communications for the local organising committee, said: “Having designs on the medals which showcase Qatar is a special occasion for the country, as so many people throughout Doha have played a vital role in delivering the competition. A gold medal will naturally take pride of place in an athlete’s collection and they will be reminded of the competition being held in the Middle East forever.

“The whole of Qatar is excited to welcome the world’s best athletes and we look forward to celebrating the successes of all those competing and those iconic moments at the finish lines and on the podiums.”

(08/27/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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The IAAF is going to rebrand as World Athletics

The IAAF Council has approved proposals to change the name of the governing body to ‘World Athletics’ and to introduce a new logo.

The Council said the rebrand is designed to more clearly communicate the organisation’s mission and attract a younger audience for the sport. The new identity will be introduced in October after one last edition of the World Championships under the IAAF banner.

The organisation was founded as the International Amateur Athletic Federation in 1912 but changed its name to the International Association of Athletics Federations in 2001 as the sport became more professionalised.“The hope is that our new brand will help attract and engage a new generation of young people to athletics,” said IAAF president Seb Coe. “We have now created a brand that can come to life in the digital world while reflecting the changing nature of the sport. And at the same time bring into focus the athletes, the heroes of our sport.”

The rebrand comes at a time when IAAF is seeking to draw a line under a wide array of doping and corruption scandals. In May, French prosecutors requested that Lamine Diack, the former president of the organisation stand trial over allegations of corruption linked to the Russian doping scandal.

It was also announced at the IAAF Council Meeting in Monaco that Russia’s ban from international meetings had been extended over ongoing doping concerns.

Russia has been suspended from the sport since 2015, though many athletes have since been allowed to compete as neutrals.

The next vote on the issue is likely to be taken at an IAAF Council meeting on September 23 – just five days before the start of the World Championships in Doha.

(06/11/2019) ⚡AMP
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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Nicky Spinks will lead the way at Trail Skills for Ultrarunners

Scotland-based women’s guided trail running company, Girls on Hills Ltd, have just announced that they will be hosting a ‘Trail Skills for Ultrarunners’ course in Glencoe October 11-13, with the legendary ultrarunner Nicky Spinks the star tutor.

Spinks will be sharing her experiences and coaching women in the essential skills of ultrarunning, including training advice and running with poles. She will be joining an otherwise all-Scottish line-up of other providers, with experts covering areas such as yoga, nutrition, foot-care and self-massage. 

For female ultrarunners, there can be no better teacher than Spinks. The inspirational Inov-8 athlete just became the first person to complete double rounds of Britain’s three classic 24-hour mountain running challenges: the Bob Graham Round in England; the Charlie Ramsay Round in Scotland; and now the Paddy Buckley Round in Wales. 

On her two laps of the Paddy Buckley Round circuit last month, Spinks ran 94 peaks and 56,000ft of height gain (almost two times Mount Everest), in 57hrs 27mins to complete the ‘doubles’ and make fell-running history. 

Girls on Hills Ddirector Keri Wallace told runABC Scotland online: “Nicky is an incredible woman and an inspiration to so many people, runners and non-runners alike. As a 51-year old, a woman, a farmer and a cancer-survivor, she breaks so many trail-running stereotypes! Who better to join us at Girls on Hills and help coach women in the skills they need to get outside and explore their limits through ultrarunning!”

As a company, Girls on Hills Ltd, who are sponsored by Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports and are partnered with Inov-8 clothing, seeks to address the gender gap in participation that exists in trail, fell and skyrunning by increasing the accessibility of off-road running disciplines. 

“There are no actual barriers stopping women from running long distances in remote places or exploring the mountains – there are only perceived barriers. We welcome women of all ages and from all walks of life, and surprise them with how much they can achieve!”  

(06/03/2019) ⚡AMP
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The Crown Prince of Denmark is so excited about the upcoming world cross-country championships that he decided to run it

This Saturday is the World Cross-Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. Many of the world’s best athletes will be competing, including world half-marathon champion and world 10,000m gold medallist Geoffrey Kamworor in the senior men’s race.

Also running is distance stud Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the U20 men’s race, 5,000m world champion Hellen Obiri in the senior women’s race and world juinor 5,000m champion Beatrice Chebet in the U20 women’s event.

The IAAF president and former Olympic medallist Seb Coe and Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, are taking part in the 8K event.

The Crown Prince is an avid runner.

(03/27/2019) ⚡AMP
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World Athletics Cross Country Championships

World Athletics Cross Country Championships

Athletes from across the globe will descend on Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021. To celebrate the one year to go mark, the local organising committee has unveiled the official course animation for the event, which is scheduled to take place on 20 March 2021. Mount Panorama is better known as the home...

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The IAAF will elect its first female vice-president this year as it continues its efforts to ensure that women are represented at the highest levels of the sport

As part of the widespread reforms adopted by the IAAF Congress at the end of 2016, the IAAF has added minimum gender targets into its constitution to establish parity at all levels in the sport’s governance.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, six women currently sit on the IAAF Council. That number will increase to seven at this year’s elections in September, and to 10 in 2023, before reaching parity with male Council members in 2027. Following the election of the first female vice president at this year’s IAAF Congress, two of the four vice president positions will be filled by women in 2027.

The IAAF Council established a Gender Leadership Taskforce in 2017 to work alongside the IAAF Women’s Committee to develop and organise global and regionally specific programmes to ensure a robust pipeline of eligible female candidates is available for this year’s elections and beyond.

“On International Women’s Day, I’m absolutely delighted to reinforce our commitment to gender balance in the governance structures of our sport,” IAAF President Sebastian Coe said. “I formed our Gender Leadership Taskforce because I want to encourage more women into our sport and to provide the pathway and programmes to allow them to do that. 

“We have equal opportunities for women in competition, and we are committed to having equal opportunities for women in all our governance structures. I have always believed that any organisation is stronger and more effective when women are properly represented at every level."

Athletics has long been a pioneer both on and off the field of play in creating and ensuring gender equality.

At major championships, the sport has an equal number of disciplines for men and women and offers the same prize.

At the IAAF headquarters, 51 percent of the staff are women, and 40 percent of those women are in managerial positions.

(03/08/2019) ⚡AMP
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Michael Wardian finished running ten marathons in ten days on Saturday at a 2:55 avg pace and then Sunday ran a 17:01 5k race! Wow!

Michael Wardian is one of a kind.  Most people would think that running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents would be enough.  It was not enough for Michael.  

On Saturday, Wardian set the pending world record for completing 10 marathons in 10 days, with a cumulative time of 29 hours, 12 minutes, and 46 seconds.

That is an average of 2:55:17 per marathon. And it’s more than 43 minutes faster than the previous record (29 hours, 54 minutes, and 56 seconds), set by Brit Rik Vercoe in 2013.

Before heading off to do the seven in seven in seven, he called a running friend.  “I’d like to add three more. I think I can break the record,’” Michael told Chris Farley, owner of Pacers Running stores. So Farley mapped out an eight-loop, USATF-certified marathon course around Hains Point and invited D.C.’s enthusiastic running community to watch history in the making.

Wardian crossed a makeshift finish line on Hains Point on Saturday afternoon, completing his 10th marathon in as many days, with a time of 2 hours, 44 minutes, and 33 seconds (averaging 6:16 per mile). It was his fastest race of the entire journey.

“I’ve been trying to think of how to put it in context so that people can understand how difficult this is,” said Farley.  “If you did a 30-mile week, that’s a strong week for most runners.  Michael did close to that distance every day for 10 days straight.  He ran more than 262 miles in the last 10 days. And he finished the last 5K of a marathon in under six-minute pace. That’s insane.”

Wardian did all of this on just 20 hours of sleep over the past 10 days. While most of that deprivation can be attributed to his rigorous travel to all seven continents, he slept in his own bed, at his home in Arlington the past three nights. Apparently, that isn’t enough to get a full night’s sleep.

“Too excited,” he explained after the race. “I’m just ready to go.”

This is perhaps what makes Wardian most impressive. He is absolutely relentless.

While elite marathoners tend to do one or two key races in a year, Wardian doesn't hit the brakes. In the distance running community, he’s well known for his punishing race schedule of ultramarathons and marathons.

To successfully tackle an odyssey like this, Wardian kept a rigorous training schedule, which included finishing the one of the most difficult 100-mile courses in the world—the HURT 100—just last month.

“The training for each event just builds on itself,” he explains. “I ran the HURT 100 back in January, which was 27 straight hours of running.”

But Wardian’s training was only part of the equation. There were plenty of other challenges he’d have to face, including hydration and nutrition, travel logistics, and weather.

“During the seven marathons in seven continents in seven days, the most challenging part was staying on top of my nutrition,” says Wardian. “You’re really at the mercy of where you are and what food is in front of you.”

“I just eat whatever my body will tolerate,” he adds, noting that he did get sick during his marathon in Santiago, Chile.

But with such a tight travel schedule, it was just a matter of pushing through the tough parts, get enough calories to fuel his next run. For a vegetarian like Wardian, this can be doubly challenging. 

The weather also threw some curveballs at Wardian. “The temperature fluctuations were tough,” he says. “One day might be cold, and the next is hot. While usually your body gets the chance to acclimate to those conditions, this time it was just go-go-go.”

The very next day after finishing 10 marathons in ten days,  Wardian didn't sleep in or take a day off from running. But instead, he competed in the Love The Run You're With 5K with his vizsla, Rosie, near his home. 

Wardian finished ninth overall in 17:01 (a 5:28 per mile pace). The one-of-a-kind runner can!

(02/11/2019) ⚡AMP
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IAAF announced it plans to honor some of the most highly accomplished runners in history

The first runners on the list of those to be honored are American sprinter Jesse Owens, Finnish distance runner Paavo Nurmi, Czech distance runner Emil Zatopek, Dutch sprinter and hurdler Fanny Blankers-Koen, British distance runner Emil Voigt, Australian sprinter Betty Cuthbert, Ethiopian marathoner Abebe Bikila, Polish sprinter Irena Szewinska and American Mildred “Babe” Didrickson Zaharias, who won two gold medals in track and field at the 1932 Olympics. IAAF president Sebastian Coe made the announcement in Monaco yesterday.  (12/03/2018) ⚡AMP
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