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Articles tagged #Sebastian Coe
Today's Running News


World Athletics provides equipment to support Ukrainian athletes

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has met with members of the Ukrainian team and newly elected World Athletics Council member Nataliya Dobrynska in Budapest to deliver much-needed equipment provided by the Ukraine Fund.

The fund – which was established by World Athletics, together with the International Athletics Foundation (IAF) and Members of the Diamond League Association, last year and renewed in May – was created to support elite athletes affected by the conflict in their home country.

Its primary purpose is to ensure that Ukrainian athletes can continue to train, qualify for and participate in World Championship events, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year. A team of 29 Ukrainian athletes is currently competing at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

The fund has USD$190,000 available this year to assist the athletes, their immediate family and key support personnel. As well as paying for travel and accommodation for elite athletes at training camps, and for non-quota officials and athletes at World Athletics Series events, support also included purchasing equipment – particularly for the pole vault – to replace items that have been destroyed during missile attacks.

On Thursday (24) Ukraine marks its 32nd anniversary of independence and, meeting with the athletes the day before that anniversary, Coe said: “I am grateful you are here competing at this 40th anniversary of the World Championships.

“I know how hard it has been for you emotionally and physically. I have spoken to many of you since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year. And I want you to know that World Athletics will continue to support you as long as you need help.”

The equipment provided includes pole vault poles, as well as mats.

“This year, we have heard your request to provide athletics equipment destroyed by the war, and support for summer camp training and preparation for Budapest,” Coe added. “And this is where we have focused our efforts. We have the poles, and I am delighted they are being used. The mats will follow.

“Thank you, all of you – the athletes, the coaches and the federation – for keeping our sport alive in Ukraine.”

Dobrynska said: “Today, we come together to express our huge gratitude to World Athletics, led by President Sebastian Coe, for being a pillar of support during these challenging times in Ukraine.

“In a world that sometimes feels divided, you remind us of the power of unity. You should know that all of Ukraine appreciates your commitment and involvement in what our athletes are trying to achieve under very difficult circumstances.”

It is expected that up to 100 members of the Ukrainian athletics community may require some financial support this year.

Also on Wednesday, Ukrainian 400m hurdler Anna Ryzhykova, Athlete Refugee Team (ART) member Perina Nakang, ART coach Janeth Jepkosgei and World Athletics ambassador David Rudisha met with refugees families, including those from Ukraine, currently living in Hungary.

The refugee families, who are being assisted by the UN refugee agency UNHCR and Hungarian agency Menedek, were provided with tickets to attend Wednesday morning’s session of the World Athletics Championships before meeting with the athletes.

They came together at the WCH Budapest 23 Green Zone, which is hosting sustainability awareness-raising activities and meet & greets with athletes over the course of the championships.

(08/24/2023) Views: 272 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics

Sebastian Coe reelected as World Athletics president

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe was elected for a third term at the 54th World Athletics Congress in Budapest on Thursday (17).

Ximena Restrepo was re-elected as a Vice President and will be joined by newly elected Vice Presidents Raul Chapado, Adille Sumariwalla and Jackson Tuwei.

A total of 192 voting members of Congress voted for Coe and three abstained. Under the World Athletics Constitution, this will be Coe’s final term as President.

In 2019, Restrepo, the 1992 Olympic 400m bronze medallist from Colombia, became the first woman to be elected as a World Athletics Vice President.

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

The reforms detailed a requirement to have 13 members of each gender elected to the World Athletics Council at the 2027 Congress. This target has been met four years earlier than the reform roadmap prescribed.

The remaining requirement to be met at the 2027 Congress is the election of two Vice Presidents of each gender.

"I’m grateful for the support of my colleagues and delighted to see that more of the commitments we made during the governance reform process in 2016 have come to fruition with the election of World Athletics’ first gender equal Council four years ahead of schedule," said Coe. "But the job is not done yet and we need to keep pushing for gender parity throughout our representative bodies. The strength of our sport is in its diversity and that should be reflected in our governance at all levels."

(08/17/2023) Views: 299 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics

World Athletics planning a new competition format for 2026

The innovative event aims to maintain the sport's momentum by showcasing the "best of the best" in athletics during non-Olympic and world championship years.

During a media call on Monday, World Athletics president Sebastian Coe provided more insights into a planned new format scheduled to be added to the international athletics calendar in 2026. The innovative event aims to maintain the sport’s momentum by showcasing the “best of the best” in athletics during non-Olympic and non-world-championship years.

Coe highlighted the significance of this new format, stating, “Although 2026 is often referred to as a ‘fallow year’ due to the absence of World Championships or Olympics, the new event aims to offer a fresh and different experience for fans and athletes alike.” The ultimate goal for World Athletics is to incorporate this format into the four-year cycle of athletics competitions.

While the exact format is still being fine-tuned and potential hosts considered, the primary focus is to deliver two or three nights of high-quality athletics, featuring the world’s best athletes. The intention is to have smaller fields and no heats or cross-heats, creating an action-packed spectacle specifically designed for television viewers. “We haven’t entirely agreed on the format, and we are still working with potential hosts here, so there’s more to come,” Coe added.

It is speculated that the new format may draw parallels to the existing Diamond League Final, which invites top athletes from each Diamond League meet to compete in a two-day championship event.

Coe has served as the World Athletics President since 2015 and is set to stand unopposed for a third term at the upcoming World Athletics Congress in Budapest on Aug. 17, ahead of the 2023 World Athletics Championships. Regarding potential investment from countries like Saudi Arabia to enhance the sport’s growth, Coe emphasized the organization is taking a cautious approach, stating, “My default position is that investment from any country or sector looking to enter our sport would be looked at very carefully.” He also pointed out that the executive board has previously declined investments from certain sectors and countries, indicating that any potential investment would undergo thorough evaluation before being accepted.


As athletics enthusiasts eagerly await further details on this new format, the prospect of witnessing a condensed showcase of top-tier athletes and exhilarating performances in 2026 promises to be a game-changer for the sport.

(08/02/2023) Views: 279 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics

Ukrainian team prepares for World Athletics Championships

The Ukrainian athletics team will gather in Slovakia this week for a final training camp before travelling to Hungary for the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23, starting in less than three weeks (August 19).

World Athletics’ Ukraine Fund and the International Olympic Committee’s Solidarity Fund have combined to provide training camp accommodation for 40 athletes and officials in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, which will allow Ukraine’s top athletes to complete their final preparations for their most important competition of the year.

World Athletics has provided additional accommodation for three athletes and their families for an extended period in Bankska Bystrica, from 1 June to 30 September.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “We understand how important and inspirational Ukraine’s athletes are to their country at this terrible time and we want to give them every opportunity to compete and excel, despite the great hardship being visited on them and their communities by this horrific war. They have lost so much and the least we can do is help them to keep their athletics dreams alive. I am full of admiration for their fortitude and resilience and I am looking forward to welcoming the Ukrainian team to the National Athletics Centre in Budapest in the coming weeks.”

The general secretary of the Ukrainian Athletic Association Iolanta Khropach offered her “heartfelt thanks” for the “important financial assistance provided during this terrible war in our country”.

“Your unwavering belief in us has made a profound impact on the life of our team and the opportunities to prepare for world-class competitions,” she said. “Thanks to your support, we have been able to provide the best athletes of the Ukrainian team with the necessary conditions on the final stage of the preparation to the World Athletic Championships in Budapest to achieve their sports goals. We are happy to see your willingness to lend a helping hand in difficult times for us during the war.”

World Athletics and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee funded a similar programme to help the Ukrainian team prepare for the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 last year, where two athletes emerged as medallists. World indoor champion Yaroslava Mahuchikh won the silver medal in the women’s high jump and Andriy Protsenko won bronze in the men’s high jump.

The IOC contributed an additional US$20,000 to support the Ukrainian team at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Cali last year.

Through its Ukraine Fund, World Athletics distributed more than US$220,000 last year to support Ukrainian athletes preparing for the World Championships and the World Athletics U20 Championships in response to the crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and is distributing a further US$190,000 this year to support Ukrainian athletes preparing for Budapest.

This fund was launched by World Athletics, the Member Meetings of Diamond League Association and the International Athletics Foundation in April 2022 with the purpose of assisting professional athletes, immediate family members and their support personnel affected by Russia’s invasion of their home country.

This is in addition to the Solidarity Fund of US$7.5 million established by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in February 2022 to support Ukrainian athletes and the Ukrainian Olympic community.

(08/02/2023) Views: 252 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
World Athletics Championships Budapest 23

World Athletics Championships Budapest 23

From August 19-27, 2023, Budapest will host the world's third largest sporting event, the World Athletics Championships. It is the largest sporting event in the history of Hungary, attended by athletes from more than 200 countries, whose news will reach more than one billion people. Athletics is the foundation of all sports. It represents strength, speed, dexterity and endurance, the...


Is depth of talent the issue behind Kenya’s doping scandal?

If you have been following the sport of distance running for the past five years, you’ll be aware of the rise in positive doping cases out of Kenya, whose athletes have dominated the major marathon scene for nearly three decades. Since 2000, the country has won a total of 30 Boston Marathon titles, and the remarkable performances of marathon world record holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei have put Kenyan athletics at the forefront of distance running. Still, below those few at the top, there are hundreds of aspiring talented distance runners from the East African nation willing to do whatever it takes to make ends meet.

In an in-depth interview with the BBC, Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) head Brett Clothier explains that Kenya faces a unique problem that most countries don’t face—the sheer abundance of talent that sits below the elite level. “The problem is there is a huge pyramid of top-class athletes,” explains Clothier. “The difference in ability, in that pyramid, between the top and those below is not very much, because of the depth of their talent.”

Clothier adds that in the past, they have been testing the top of that pyramid, i.e., major marathon winners, domestic champions and world championship athletes, but the bottom ones have not been subject to out-of-competition testing. “That pyramid is hundreds, or even thousands, of athletes, so even though we are controlling the ones at the top very well, because of the pressure from the athletes below, who aren’t being tested out of competition, the athletes at the top are taking risks, and there is pressure to stay on top.”

The lure of financial incentives is a major driving force behind doping in Kenya. Road races tend to offer lucrative prize money and appearance fees, attracting a large professional class of runners who potentially see doping as a means to secure a better living. The extensive pyramid of top-class athletes in Kenya creates pressure to succeed, even for those not yet subject to out-of-competition testing. Clothier pointed out that these athletes do not have to go far to find performance-enhancing drugs. “When you have this illicit market, you have the opportunity for people to financially benefit from doping, and people who have the financial opportunity to sell performance-enhancing drugs,” said Clothier. “What we see is a market driven by money and demand.”

There are 165 Kenyan men who have run under 2:07 for the marathon. To put it into perspective, only three U.S. men in history have accomplished the same feat. USADA, the country’s doping agency, is backed annually by major players, including the U.S. Government and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), to help create a safe sporting environment and regularly test athletes.

Kenya’s problem is that it doesn’t yet have the funding or resources within its anti-doping agency to completely tackle the larger pool below those at the top, but the AIU and Kenyan government have increased funding for the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) by five million a year for the next five years. “Funding can be a real game-changer,” said Clothier. “No other national anti-doping agency is at that level of testing in our sport.” In the last year, testing at the Kenyan National Championships has increased nearly 400 percent, which Clothier believes is a serious improvement.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe fully supports the efforts made by the Kenyan Federation and government in tackling the issue. Although running fans may feel discouraged by seeing the downfall of major marathon winners and world championships medallists who are cheating, Clothier insists that each case represents progress in making athletics a cleaner sport. The country’s fight against doping continues, but the increased testing and commitment to fixing the problem offer hope for real change. With Coe and Clothier backing the efforts to address doping in Kenya, there is reason for optimism that the nation’s anti-doping initiatives will lead to a cleaner and fairer athletic environment, benefiting clean athletes and preserving the integrity of the sport.

(07/20/2023) Views: 303 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine

Six-time world champion confirms attendance for this year’s Antrim Coast Half-Marathon

Six-time world champion and former Olympic silver medalist Genzebe Dibaba has confirmed she will take to the starting line for this year’s Antrim Coast Half-Marathon.

The 32-year-old Ethiopian, who finished second in the 1500m at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, is the latest elite name to be added to the field for this year’s event, which takes place on August 25-27.

A former World Junior champion, and a two-time junior race winner at the World Cross Country Championships, Dibaba won her first world title in the 1500m at the 2012 World Indoors in Istanbul.

Her second came two years later in the 3000m at the World Indoors in Sopot, Poland, before she added the 1500m title at the 2013 World Championships in Beijing.

She would add another 1500m World Indoor title in 2016 in Portland before claiming gold in both the 1500m and 3000m at the 2018 World Indoors in Birmingham.

Dibaba, whose best half-marathon time is 1:05.18, will face stern competition from the likes of Amsterdam Marathon winner Degitu Azimeraw and former Great Ethiopian Run winner Zeineba Yimer.

However, Dibaba will enter the event as one of the favorites to cross the line first and race director Ruth McIlroy is thrilled they have added another huge name to the line-up.

"Everyone is delighted we have secured Genzebe, she's been someone we have been working towards getting to the event over the last 12 months,” said McIlroy.

"We feel we have one of the fastest half marathon courses in the world and think she, along with some other stars, will run extremely quick.

"Both the men's and women's elite races have a similar calibre to a global final so we could be looking at something very special in August.”

On the men’s side of the event, Ethiopian great Jemal Yimer is going for his third straight win in the event and is boasting considerable form after winning the Los Angeles Marathon and setting a UK & Ireland All-Comers record with a time of 58.33.

However, Yimer is only one of three runners who have broken the 59-minute mark in the field this year, with Kenya’s Daniel Mateiko having set a time of 58.26 and two-time Tokyo Marathon winner Birhanu Legese also competing.

The local challenge will be spearheaded by Irish Olympian duo Paul Pollock and Kevin Seaward, while Scotland’s Callum Hawkins also runs in a star-studded field.

Meanwhile, world junior champion Ermias Girma has been confirmed for the Condor Executive Street Mile to be run on the Friday night, with the Ethiopian eyeing up the first sub-four-minute mile.

Former Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Winnie Nanyondo is also confirmed for the event as she looks to better her personal best time of four minutes and 18 seconds.

Elsewhere, McIlroy is keen to see the Antrim Coast & Belfast bid given the green light to represent the United Kingdom in its bid to host either the 2025 or 2026 World Road Running Championships.

The bid, which has already been endorsed by Northern Ireland’s five main political parties, is Athletics UK’s preferred choice and will be the last to present to World Athletics president Sebastian Coe.

"With 50,000 runners from over 160 countries, it would be a truly great way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement and showcase the beauty of our province and sporting excellence to the rest of the world,” added McIlroy.

The bid will be heard on Tuesday, July 4, with the winning regions revealed on August 18 at the World Track & Field Championships in Budapest.

(07/19/2023) Views: 324 ⚡AMP
by Adam McKendry


The MEA Antrim Coast Half Marathon 2022 has been approved by World Athletics as an Elite Event. The World Athletics certified course takes in some of the most stunning scenery in Europe, combined with some famous landmarks along the route. With it's flat and fast course, the race is one of the fastest half marathons in the world. Starting...


World Road Running Championships in Riga Latvia September 30

Athletics fans will have the opportunity to see the world’s best milers, 5km runners and half-marathoners compete in a single day at the World Athletics Road Running Championships Riga 23 under the revamped schedule announced today.

World Athletics and the Riga Local Organising Committee (LOC) have agreed to introduce a more compact programme, which will see the elite races and mass races held on the same day, October 1, at the championships.

The inaugural World Athletics Road Running Championships was originally envisioned as a two-day event, with the new road mile and 5km road championships to be held on Saturday 30 September and the half marathon races on Sunday 1 October, but in a move to create a more exciting build up for fans, all events have been brought together with the mass races on one day.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “As preparations for the World Road Running Championships have evolved, it has become apparent that the event will work better as a single-day event in Riga, both for local organisers and for broadcast. It will also give recreational runners the opportunity to be fully immersed in the day, running before and after our elite runners, and will create the festival atmosphere that we want to see to celebrate road running at every level.”

The new timetable begins on the morning of 1 October with the mass races over 5km and the road mile to be followed by the elite races over the same distances. Then attention will turn to the half marathon distance with the elite races to be followed by the mass race.

This unique global running festival will not only crown the world road mile, 5km and half marathon champions, but is also expected to feature thousands of amateur runners, kids and families from up to 100 countries participating alongside elite runners.

Aigars Nords, Head of the Local Organising Committee, commented: “With three months to go to the inaugural World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia, we have already attracted recreational runners from more than 50 countries all over the world. Saturday 30 September will see thousands of kids and families warm up for the championships during Kids’ Day, while Sunday 1 October will provide a unique opportunity for everyone to earn their mass race medals, not only in the road mile, 5km, and half marathon, but also in the half marathon relay, a new mass race, aimed at recreational runners not yet ready for the challenges of a half marathon.”

Any recreational runner who is ready for a challenge can register for any of the official mass races of the World Championships in Riga and earn a unique medal from the World Athletics Road Running Championships.

WRRC Riga 23 updated schedule

Saturday 30 September 202310:00 – 15:00 Kids’ Day

Sunday 1 October 202310:00 Mass race | 5km11:30 Mass race | Road mile11:50 Women | 5km12:15 Men | 5km13:00 Women | Road mile13:10 Men | Road mile13:30 Women | Half marathon14:15 Men + mass race | Half marathon | Half marathon relay (10.5km + 10.5km)

(06/28/2023) Views: 437 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics

Sebastian Coe welcomes perfect stage for the world’s best athletes to shine at WCH Budapest

“With the introduction of the super-fast Mondo track of the National Athletics Center, the stage is set for exhilarating battles and historic performances at the upcoming World Athletics Championships in Budapest,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe after running the first lap on the new track, accompanied by local young athletes.

The build up through the one-day meetings of the Wanda Diamond League and the Continental Tour have seen some thrills and spills already.

And you don’t need to wait long for finals. They have been set throughout the Championships from the first day, Saturday 19 August. All athletes are looking for a loud crowd to keep them focused on medals and records.  But a passionate home crowd is super important to Hungarian athletes and their performances.

On day one, the men’s shot put is the first final in the stadium – defending champion Ryan Crouser (USA) broke the world record recently and will duel with two-time world champion Joe Kovacs (who may be in a USA vest but has family ties much closer to here – his grandfather is from the village of Szentpéterfa in Hungary).

For those who want a weekend of watching the strongest men in athletics, Sunday 20 August features the men’s hammer throw.  

“I don’t need to tell the people of Hungary that there is a huge national tradition in this event. Five of Hungary’s 10 Olympic athletics gold medals are for the hammer. And Hungary’s very own Bence Halász, who won the European Athletics silver medal in Munich last year and bronze at the World Championships in Doha in 2019 will be wanting his home crowd to give him a little extra muscle,” added President Coe.

The National Athletics Center in Budapest, a brand new, purpose-built facility, is emerging as the Central European region's athletics stronghold.

“As Budapest and the whole country prepares to welcome athletes from more than 200 countries; for Central European fans this is a unique opportunity to see the world’s best athletes compete in their own region. My message to all of you is don’t miss out. Book your tickets and your place in history now,” – added the World Athletics President

This historic occasion marks the first time in the 40-year history of the World Athletics Championships that a Central European country has been granted the opportunity to host the world's third-largest sporting event.

"We are organizing the biggest sporting event of the year, and the level of interest we have already witnessed is extraordinary. With tens of thousands of international fans and our very own passionate Hungarian supporters, we have already sold over 190,000 tickets.

The World Championships will be broadcast to an estimated one billion viewers worldwide, bringing immeasurable value and pride to Hungary," stated Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky, Minister of Defence and responsible for Sport and the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23 organization.

The Minister encouraged fellow sports enthusiasts to witness the remarkable performances of Hungarian athletes firsthand, cheering them on throughout the thrilling opening weekend and celebrating their potential podium finishes.

On Saturday, the track that witnessed Sebastian Coe's inaugural lap will be open for everyone to experience, ahead of the world's top athletes competing in August. The National Athletics Centre's family opening day on June 17 invites participants to enjoy the track and engage in races, free of charge. Additionally, participants can seize the opportunity to purchase tickets for the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, from August 19 to 27, at an exclusive 50% discount. Secure your tickets now at

(06/16/2023) Views: 379 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
World Athletics Championships Budapest 23

World Athletics Championships Budapest 23

From August 19-27, 2023, Budapest will host the world's third largest sporting event, the World Athletics Championships. It is the largest sporting event in the history of Hungary, attended by athletes from more than 200 countries, whose news will reach more than one billion people. Athletics is the foundation of all sports. It represents strength, speed, dexterity and endurance, the...


At 69, Bobby Kersee is track's 'mad scientist' and as influential as ever

Four years ago, the man associated with speed more than any track and field coach in the world felt himself slowing down, and he did not know why.

Since he was born in Panama in 1954 to a Panamanian mother and U.S. Navy father, Bobby Kersee has always been restless, a self-described wanderer with energy that matched his athletes. But in 2019, feeling unusually sapped, he called his doctor in St. Louis. Blood tests produced results dangerously far beyond the norm. Pancreatitis kept him stuck in a hospital for four weeks.

Once discharged, Kersee gave up red meat and alcohol.

What he would not quit was track.

Forty years after coaching his first world champion Kersee, now 69, paced relentlessly for four hours on Thursday while watching his training group at West Los Angeles College.

“Everyone kind of says the same thing: You know, he's different in terms of he's basically a mad scientist,” said Athing Mu, the 20-year-old reigning Olympic and world champion at 800 meters who switched to Kersee’s coaching in September to expand her range. “He knows what he's doing.”

Under cloudy skies at the track high above Culver City, nine athletes in his training group, dubbed Formula Kersee, ran tailored workouts and waited for his every word, from the barked “let’s go!” to commands about mechanics he hollered to athletes mid-run. He lifted hurdles, held court with reporters and stopped only to film block starts with his iPhone.

At an age when he might have become anachronistic, Kersee and his methods still represent sprinting’s gold standard, associates and athletes say. Invigorated by a training group that describes itself as a family and could be dominant into the next decade behind headliners Mu and 23-year-old 400-meter hurdles world champion and world record-holder Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, Kersee said his career has no discernible finish line.

His coaching, primarily of sprinters and hurdlers, has brought his athletes at least one gold medal in 10 consecutive Summer Olympics, a litany of world championships and world records and, for Kersee, veneration, criticism and influence.

As the first professional meet held at UCLA’s Drake Stadium since 1990, and a key early tentpole in USA Track & Field’s attempted plan to grow its U.S. fanbase before the 2028 L.A. Olympics, this weekend’s Los Angeles Grand Prix is both a callback to a time when track’s popularity soared and, its organizers hope, a harbinger such times can return.

Outside of Sebastian Coe, the 1984 Olympic gold medalist in the 1,500 who has since ascended to lead track’s global governing body, World Athletics, few figures have spanned both eras as prominently as Kersee.

Athletes and associates credit his ability to turn seemingly outlandish goals and times into tangible results to an ability to know what they need. Malachi Davis, who has overseen McLaughlin-Levrone’s training since she turned professional, likened Kersee to a conductor, his whistle and yellow stopwatch replacing a baton to direct “a beautiful dance of confidence and knowledge.”

Many coaches can teach how to run fast and build a race plan, McLaughlin-Levrone said, but Kersee understands “how to break it down piece by piece.”

Robert Forster, a Santa Monica-based physical therapist who has worked with Kersee’s athletes since 1983, said Kersee understands the “work-rest ratio” better than any coach, and does not overtrain where other coaches might double down on mileage. Forster has seen Kersee send an athlete home to rest just from the look on their face, and likes to tell a story about the 2016 Olympics, that Kersee later confirmed. Allyson Felix, the Los Angeles native who under Kersee became the most decorated athlete in track’s history, was nursing a severely sprained ankle and the physical therapist told Kersee it needed to be iced 20 minutes every hour. Forster did not expect, however, that Kersee would stay up the entire next night icing the ankle as Felix slept.

Kersee was an early adopter of technology, upgrading his video cameras at a Westwood electronics store years before he could film block starts of sprinters Jenna Prandini and Morolake Akinosun on his iPhone and zip the footage to an iPad on the infield of the West L.A. track.

Yet the Kersee mystique has endured as much because of his grasp on psychology as biomechanics — feeling for when to push and when to pull back.

Brandon Miller, a top 800-meter hopeful who began working with Kersee in September, has heard other athletes describe Kersee as “crazy.” He disputes that characterization, but noted that Kersee knows to stoke his competitiveness entering a workout’s final repetition with four words: “OK, what you got?”

“I've never met any coach like him,” Mu said. “He's not going to make you do anything that's for his sake. You know, it's gonna be all for you and the benefit of you and your career. And so, I come in here, I knew that he was very intentional, and that's something I needed, especially if I want my career to be long.”

Raised by a grandmother as an “A-train baby” bouncing between the Bronx and Queens, Kersee lost his mother, Daphne, when he was 14, before moving to San Pedro for high school.

He put himself through college at Long Beach State by working at a youth correctional facility in Whittier, where Kersee watched wards from midnight until 8 a.m. After graduating, he had two jobs: Track coach at Cal State Northridge, and counselor at another youth facility in Chino. He took over UCLA’s track and field program in 1980 and that provided enough money to be comfortable. Coaching Greg Foster to his first world championship in 1983, and watching his athletes win six golds and four silvers at the Los Angeles Olympics one year later, provided the final confidence he could sustain coaching as a career.

But he did not leave behind the edge required to do his former jobs.

“I used to work in the prisons, so you can’t walk into the prisons being Mother Teresa,” he said. “And then I did find myself carrying a little bit too much of that to the track. I had to calm myself down and say, 'Wait a minute, you’re not working with a warden.'”

Once, an elderly woman approached Kersee in an airport in Indiana and told him she did not like what she had seen from Kersee or the other famed coach with the B.K. initials: Bobby Knight. He did not belittle his athletes, he said, but he also didn’t leave room for interpretation about who ran the workout. The edge created a mystique that “he's crazy,” Miller said. “But he's not. I feel like everybody has preconceptions of everybody but you won't really know unless you're there and you're with them every day.”

Just as when he built his vaunted World Class Athletic Club in the 1980s, he will only train those he can coach hard and have chemistry. His athletes typically train Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. He treats Monday Zoom calls with the group as though he is re-interviewing for the job. It’s more convenient than years before, he said, when he recalled gathering before dawn in Europe to address their complaints with him.

“I think we have that understanding that I’m going to listen and respect them,” he said. “But my job is to get the job done for them individually and collectively but you hired me. And if you hired me, let me do my job.”

That job, essentially, can be reduced to one thing: Imparting confidence in his plan. And no one does it like Kersee, said Davis, who sprinted professionally before aiding McLaughlin-Levrone.

“He's a competition coach, so the time it counts, you feel confident,” Davis said. “And your head coach is basically your general and then competition is basically war. And yes, you prepare for war but that final voice, that presence, that action, that essence, that’s Bobby. And he earned that by what he’s accomplished throughout his career.”

Kersee allows that age has softened him. As McLaughlin-Levrone recalled last August, Kersee earned her trust when he saw her overwhelmed with emotion at a 2020 practice and handed her a paper showing a wheel of emotions, saying he had trouble expressing himself, too.

Though accustomed to criticism of himself for years — he joked he would be buried in a track, and "probably as much as people hate me, they’ll put me in lane one, because I’ll be stepped on the most" — he worries about how the inundation of social media affects athletes’ mental health. He has traveled to support the singing ambitions of Formula Kersee sprinter Chloe Abbott. This spring, a smiling Kersee was featured on TikTok when his athletes remade the opening credits of the 1990s sitcom “Family Matters.”

Four decades into his career, he has “a whole lot of knowledge and a whole lot of patience,” he said. “But still, don’t let grandpa get out of the chair.”

Ato Boldon was never coached by Kersee during his sprinting career but has known him for 31 years, since they overlapped at UCLA, and has seen a “golden-hearted” side to the coach. He also described Kersee’s coaching equivalent as either Knight or San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich.

“Everybody under him wins,” said Boldon. “But it’s not necessarily a democracy.

“... As time has gone on, people are like, ‘Wow he’s so this or he’s so that, he’s so abrasive.’ Listen, do you want results, or do you not want results?”

No one argues that Kersee gets results. The most common criticism is how rarely his athletes compete en route to smashing records and claiming gold.

Among athletes, meet directors, agents and track officials who see a need for the sport’s biggest stars and strong competition to draw in casual fans, it has become a question of how to unite what is best for the top athletes’ futures with what is best for the sport’s growth. The tensions surrounding the discussion are not dissimilar from the way “load management” in the NBA has sparked concerns whether it will turn off fans from the regular season.

Because many top athletes train under Kersee, he has become a focal point. There is also his history of pulling athletes late before a meet, sometimes because of injury, and sometimes as a power play, as in 1994, when a dispute over pay led him to withdraw Gail Devers from a high-profile Los Angeles indoor meet.

The topic reignited last week when he withdrew Mu and McLaughlin-Levrone from the Grand Prix, a meet for which he serves as co-promoter. It came soon after telling Track & Field News in February that even he would like to see McLaughlin-Levrone run more often, and told The Times in March that there was no reason meets in the U.S. couldn’t draw thousands if the sport’s leaders banded together to promote strong competitions.

Asked about the balance of what is best for his athletes, or the sport, Kersee this week called it a byproduct of limited sponsorship money within the sport, which incentivizes performances at the biggest meets, which often require qualification earlier in the season. Only a handful of stars make big money and can afford to be choosy. He contrasted it with the NFL and NBA, where athletes can still earn a paycheck while resting.

“I think it’s a little tougher on our athletes to try to balance out wanting to run for the public and run for our sport and also knowing if I run too much or make one little mistake it might cost me making a team,” Kersee said. “That if I go out there and run five or six races I’m going to get to the point of, 'OK why is he running me so much and she gets injured over there, did she really need to run?'”

McLaughlin-Levrone released a statement after being pulled from the Grand Prix field that she “regrettably” would not be competing, citing her coach’s choice. It also said she trusted his judgment, which the world record-holder echoed again Thursday.

“He has a plan and he is going to work it out to perfection,” said Boldon, who will call Saturday’s meet as part of NBC’s broadcast team. “It might not benefit USATF, it might not benefit the fans, but you tell me, what moment stood out most from last summer's world championships?”

It was McLaughlin-Levrone’s stunning 50.68 time to win the 400-meter world title and lower her own world record. The run cut through the noise to make SportsCenter. It also left McLaughlin-Levrone sore for days, she said. Seeing her parents in the stands, for the first time after becoming the first woman to run under 51 seconds, she told them “that hurt, so bad.”

“We've been very calculated in when we run and I think it's yielded us great results,” McLaughlin-Levrone said. “Bobby always uses analogies and he's like, 'You don't take the Ferrari out every day for a drive. You take it out when it needs to come out and it does its things and you put it back in the garage.' So, your body can only be pushed to a certain level so much in your career.

“You only have so many races in your legs and I think we're really strategic about which ones we choose to run. Obviously I know the sport wants to see a little bit more and I think we're trying to figure out how to do that in a safe way that we can still accomplish our goals and give them something to look forward to.”

For McLaughlin-Levrone and Mu, the question is not whether they will make this summer’s world championships in Hungary, or next summer’s Paris Olympics, but which events — possibly plural — they will run.

When Kersee evaluates whether to bring an athlete into his coaching, he also looks for their potential range. He thought he lost his job coaching Felix when he told the 200-meter star during his interview that he would have her run the 400.

Mu and McLaughlin-Levrone’s youth and potential range is one of the sport’s most speculative discussions; news about their upcoming races create instant headlines. The duo are “two of maybe the most talented athletes he’s ever had,” Boldon said.

Their world championships last summer gave McLaughlin-Levrone an automatic berth into the upcoming world 400-hurdle field, and Mu an entry into the 800. With that secured, Kersee has focused on running McLaughlin-Levrone in the open 400 meters, where Marita Koch’s world record of 47.60 has been effectively unapproachable for 38 years — only four women have run even faster than 49 seconds in the past 20 years. She once thought 47.60 was “impossible.” Not anymore.

“It's a very daunting number to look at, I'll tell you that,” McLaughlin-Levrone said. “But at the end of the day, I think if we can take the 400 hurdles to 50.6, I think 47.6 isn't too far off.”

In addition to her 800-meter world title, Mu once owned the collegiate 400-meter record and ran on the U.S. 4x400-meter relay team that won Olympic gold in Tokyo.

“I'm still super young and I have not touched the surface of a lot of things yet,” Mu said. “But I do have visions, which is like really big goals of competing in obviously the Olympics again, and then worlds and hopefully, doubling up.”

Would that mean the 800 and 400, or the 800 and 1,500?

“Hopefully both,” she said. “I mean, I would love to have a chance to do 4/8 and then go ahead and do the 8/15 at some point.”

Maybe this explains why Kersee moved so quickly across the track during practice. There was no sign he had once slowed down.

“I’m glad,” he said, “I have that Energizer Bunny still in me.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

(06/04/2023) Views: 417 ⚡AMP

World Athletics renews Ukraine Fund in wake of destruction of track and field facilities

World Athletics, together with the International Athletics Foundation and members of the Diamond League Association, has renewed the Ukraine Fund established last year to support professional athletes affected by the conflict in their home country.

The Fund’s purpose is to ensure that elite Ukrainian athletes can continue to train, qualify for and participate in World Championship events this year, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.

The fund currently has $190,000US available to assist athletes, their immediate family and key support personnel, and there will be a particular emphasis on purchasing pole vault equipment after the destruction through missile attacks of a key sporting complex in Bakhmut.

This year’s other priorities will be paying for travel and accommodation for elite athletes at training camps over the summer season, covering travel and accommodation for non-quota officials and athletes to participate at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23 from August 19 to 27 and the World Athletics Road Running Championships Riga 23 from September 30 to October 1.

The Ukrainian Athletic Federation general secretary, Iolanta Khropach, explained that a large sporting complex in Bakhmut - an athletics stadium, an indoor arena, throwing fields, a medical centre and the Sergey Bubka Olympic Sports College - had been destroyed in the battle for Bakhmut in recent months.

"It was the only centre where athletes could conduct training camps at any time of the year," she wrote in a letter to World Athletics.

"This was very important because in cold winters we do not have enough arenas for training.

"It was also a very important training centre for pole vaulters.

Now there is nothing left in Bakhmut.

"We are grateful for all the help, support and understanding that you give us, but we ask you, if it is in your power, to contact the manufacturers of athletics equipment with a request to provide us with athletics equipment as humanitarian aid."

The federation reports that track and field facilities in Kharkiv and Chernihiv have also been badly damaged during the fighting.

World Athletics intends to work with equipment manufacturers to replace equipment that has been damaged or lost and ship it to training camps near Ukraine’s western border.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe added: "Last year the Ukraine Fund enabled the Ukrainian Federation to send a strong team to the World Athletics Championships Oregon23, where Yaroslava Mahuchikh and Andriy Protsenko won medals, and we want to make sure Ukrainian athletes have the same opportunity to compete and succeed this year.

"They have been put in a terrible situation following the invasion of their country.

"This year’s fund will provide further support to enable them to find stability and security as they prepare to represent their country this year.

"The deliberate destruction of Ukrainian athletics facilities and equipment is also a serious attack on the accessibility of our sport.

"We will do whatever we can to help athletics survive and recover in Ukraine."

The Ukraine Fund will provide financial assistance to the following two groups.

Group One includes athletes who are affiliated to the Ukrainian Athletic Federation and have qualified, or have a credible chance to qualify, to compete at any upcoming World Athletics Championships until Fund closure.

Group Two will cover Ukrainian Federation requests for funding for specific activities, such as the cost of training camps, purchase of athletics equipment, or travel and accommodation of out-of-quota Federation officials and support personnel to World Athletics Championships.

Funding for Group One involves enrolment, subsistence and accommodation, at training camps/temporary housing, welfare support, travel and accommodation to compete at qualifying events for World Championships and travel and accommodation to compete at World Athletics Championships if not otherwise provided.

Funding for Group Two involves enrolment, subsistence and accommodation at training camps to prepare for World Championships, travel and accommodation to accompany Group One athletes at qualifying events for World Championships, athletics equipment to replace lost or damaged equipment (for elite athletes and grassroots), support to general operations of member federations, officials and coaches.

It is expected that up to 100 members of the Ukrainian athletics community may require some financial support this year.

The fund can receive additional contributions from other athletics organisations at any time until its closure which is set for December 31 2023.

Potential beneficiaries can register for consideration by emailing, while other athletics organisations who would like to contribute to the fund can do so by contacting the same address.

(05/11/2023) Views: 378 ⚡AMP
by Mike Rowbottom

Bathurst ready to welcome the world on ‘toughest ever’ championship course

Absence, they say, makes the heart grow fonder. But in the case of World Athletics Cross Country Championships, it also seemingly makes the courses tougher.

Four years have passed since the memorable 2019 edition in the Danish city of Aarhus, where athletes had to run up a museum roof, trudge through a mud pit, and dash through a Viking zone. It was widely regarded as one of the most unique and challenging courses ever at a World Cross.

Now, on the eve of the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 23, many people are convinced that the course for this year’s edition is even tougher.

“In recent years we’ve talked about reinvigorating cross country, and we adjusted the course in Aarhus to create a more challenging one,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe. “I’m delighted that the team here in Bathurst have picked up that torch and done an outstanding job. I’d say this is certainly one of the toughest courses ever for a World Cross.

“We are really pleased to be here,” he added. “In the 50-year history of the World Cross, this is just the second time it has been held in Oceania, and it’s the first time it has been held in Australia.

“Bathurst has one of the most iconic motor racing tracks in the world, but now, in the same breath, people will think of Bathurst staging the World Cross Country Championships.”

Local Organizing Committee Co-Chair Matt Whitbread expressed his pleasure at welcoming the world to Australia for a global athletics event.

“We’re delighted to have everyone here in Bathurst,” he said. “After the last edition in Denmark, there was plenty of inspiration. We got the brief that the course needed to be hard, and hopefully we’ve achieved that.

“We were originally scheduled for 2021, then 2022, and we’re finally here now,” he said. “We’re thrilled to be here and we welcome you all.”

Coe also used the opportunity to underline the importance of cross country.

“World Athletics takes cross country very seriously, and the importance of cross country goes beyond a great World Championships like this,” he said.

Championships ambassador Paul Tergat is living proof of someone who benefitted from cross-country running. A five-time world champion at cross country, the Kenyan legend also set world records on the track and roads during his long career.

“Cross country is part of my DNA,” said Tergat. “This is where my career started. Being here, especially in Australia where I have such fond memories, makes it more special.

“With cross country, not only do you have to think about the athletes you’re racing against, you also have to think about the terrain and the course,” he added. “I believe that makes you tougher. Each course is different, which makes cross country unique.”

Cheptegei and Kamworor ready for rematch

Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei and Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor – who, between them, have won the past three senior men’s titles – will once again go head to head on Saturday.

Cheptegei’s compatriot Jacob Kiplimo, who took silver in 2019, is also in Bathurst, meaning the full podium will be reunited.

“It’s exciting that the people who shared the podium in 2019 are all back here,” said Cheptegei, the 5000m and 10,000m world record-holder. “I know it’s going to be mind-blowing and will be something that will stay in our hearts and minds for a long time.”

Memories of the 2017 World Cross Country Championships have certainly stayed with Cheptegei over the past six years. On that occasion, with the World Cross taking place on home soil, Cheptegei had built up a huge lead but fatigue eventually got the better of him and he faded to 30th, as Kamworor successfully defended his title.

“Sometimes you have to accept what life throws at you and then learn from it,” said Cheptegei. “I can proudly say that I am a better athlete because of the incident in 2017. It taught me a lot of lessons about my life and my career. When you want something in life, it’s important to chase your goals, but you also have to be patient and make certain judgements.”

For Kamworor, it was the 2011 edition of the World Cross that holds most significance.

“The first major title I won was the U20 title at the 2011 World Cross Country Championships,” he said. “That motivated me so much, and ever since then I have loved cross country.”

Despite winning two individual senior titles and one U20 title, Kamworor is yet to win a senior team gold at the World Cross. He hopes that will change on Saturday, though.

“We had great training with the team and we hope to do our best tomorrow and hopefully win the team title,” he said.

Hull and Coburn take different routes to Bathurst relay

Dramatically contrasting paths have led accidental contender Emma Coburn and child prodigy Jessica Hull to the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst where they are both in contention for medals.

Colorado-based Coburn, 32, is looking forward to leading USA in the mixed relay, despite being an athlete who spurned cross country at school and college in favour of volleyball and track.

Coburn instead went on to become a steeplechase specialist, winning the 2017 world title at that discipline, as well as the 2019 world silver and 2016 Olympic bronze.

Coburn said the longer cross country courses were the reasons she never got into the discipline.

“I was never that mentally into it (cross country) because I played volleyball during the same season in high school,” Coburn said. “In college I tried it, but I wasn’t that great. I always loved the steeplechase and the track.”

Being able to compete in a mixed relay – the ninth time Coburn has represented the USA at a global championship – where each runner completes a 2km loop has changed her attitude about cross country.

“This 2km distance I think is really fun,” she said. “The muscular strength in my legs will be beneficial on some of the technically challenging parts of the race, like the mud pit.

“As a steeplechaser, I like the challenge of this course. We’ll be going for it, trying our hardest to conquer the course and come out with some hardware.

“This is a fun opportunity and something different for me. I’m eager to try new things and mix it up and this is an opportunity to challenge my mind and body.”

Coburn will be supported in the mixed relay by US teammates Heather MacLean, a 2021 Tokyo Olympic 1500m semi-finalist, steeplechase expert Alec Basten, and 2019 mixed relay runner Jordan Mann.

The USA will be vying for the medals alongside Australia, whose team boasts a cross country child enthusiast in Hull.

Twenty years ago Hull kicked off her athletics career doing 2km primary school cross country carnivals across the road from her home in New South Wales, Australia.

“It’s kind of scary,” Hull said. “It was part of my school sports days and it was 2km. Now I’ll do a 2km hot lap of the Bathurst course. So it’s kind of a full circle moment.

“If we were to get the win out there, it would be pretty special,” she added. “It is incredible that we can talk about the Aussie team even having a win. It would be quite a remarkable day if we got to hear the national anthem while we are out there.”

Athletics has taken Hull, 26, from school cross country carnivals to the world stage where she’s been a 1500m finalist at three majors – the 2021 Tokyo Olympics (11th), the 2022 World Championships in Oregon (7th) and the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham (8th).

Hull will be joined on the tough Bathurst course by three other Australian 1500m specialists: Commonwealth champion Oliver Hoare, Commonwealth bronze medallist Abbey Caldwell, and Olympic finalist Stewart McSweyn.

The mixed relay is the first medal event on the championship programme on Saturday (18). 15 teams will compete for the medals, running in a 4x2km man-woman-man-woman format with each athlete having a wristband which they transfer to their teammate in the takeover zone.

“Cross country is an absolutely essential part of the development of young athletes. Any athlete who can master cross country and can do so from a young age is going to be well placed to pursue an endurance career on the track.”

(02/17/2023) Views: 517 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
World Athletics Cross Country

World Athletics Cross Country

Athletes from across the globe will descend on Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021. Mount Panorama is better known as the home of Australia’s premier endurance motor race, but in one year from now, it will welcome the world’s best endurance runners for what will be Australia’s first World Athletics Series event in...


AIU report shows five nations represent 54 per cent of banned athletes

Earlier this week, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) released its Global List of Ineligible Persons of 473 athletes or athlete support currently serving sanctions. Five countries account for more than half the total number of sanctions, with 92 athletes representing Russia.

The majority of the cases listed are related to infractions in the last five years. But there are lifetime bans for offenses dating back a decade. Many of the Russian infractions date from before the 2015 doping scandal, but numerous infractions have been detected in the last three years.

Russia is followed by India, with 65 recorded sanctions, Kenya with 54, Morocco with 24 and China with 20. These five countries make up 54 per cent of the AIU’s Global List of Ineligible Persons. 

Russia (RusAF) and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) are working with World Athletics to lift the ban on Russian athletes and the federation. 

When World Athletics president Sebastian Coe was asked to comment on the RUSADA situation at a year-end media conference, he said, “The council will have a better update after their next meeting in March 2023.”

Kenya entered the spotlight in recent months, with many well-known distance runners receiving sanctions for doping violations. Last month, 2021 Boston champion Diana Kipyokei was given a six-year ban for a positive test for the weight-reducing and endurance-increasing drug triamcinolone acetonide. Twenty-one of the 54 Kenyan athletes serving suspensions were caught in the past year.

Since 2016, the East African nation has been classified in Category A of the countries under surveillance by World Athletics and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), alongside Belarus, Ethiopia, Morocco and Ukraine.

Coe said after the World Athletics Council Meeting in November 2022 that Athletics Kenya has “a long journey” to regain trust, and that Kenyan sports minister Ababu Namwama and the council were working toward a solution.

In an attempt to crack down on doping, the Kenyan sports minster told BBC News Africa in December that he hopes to fast-track modifications to legislation and crack down on doping the same way the government does with illegal drugs–by criminalizing it.


Previous attempts to criminalize doping in Kenya have been unsuccessful, with a motion submitted by former member of parliament and 2012 Boston Marathon champion Wesley Korir being defeated in 2016. Korir and his wife, Tarah Korir, lived in Waterloo, Ont. for several years before moving back to Kenya. 

(01/09/2023) Views: 512 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson

Kenya targeting 2029 World Athletics Championships

Kenya has revealed plans to bid for the 2029 World Athletics Championships after missing out on the 2025 hosting rights last year.

Sports Minister Abadu Namwamba has confirmed Kenya's intent to become the first African nation to stage the event as the country looks to play host in six years' time.

Namwamba's announcement came during World Athletics President Sebastian Coe's visit to Kenyan capital Nairobi this week.

"Having lost the bid for 2025, we will prepare for 2029 and we believe we will be in a very strong position to put in a compelling bid," said Namwamba.

"We will be banking on the goodwill from World Athletics.

"We will come up with a much stronger bid."

Nairobi was among four bidders for the 2025 World Athletics Championships with Japanese capital Tokyo securing the event in July 2022.

Speaking at the time of the decision, Coe cited concerns over the Moi International Stadium as a reason why the Kenyan capital lost out to Tokyo.

The venue in Kasarani hosted the 2020 World Athletics under-20 Championships and has also staged the Kip Keino Classic, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, in the past two years.

"There were challenges around the stadium which would have needed a great deal of refurbishment and that was concern expressed by the [World Athletics] Council about the timeframe and the quantum of resource that would be needed in order to do that," said Coe in July.

"I have spoken to the Kenyan Athletics Association, and they know that I am fully committed to helping them or any other African country stage a World Championship in the foreseeable future."

Only the United States has won more medals than Kenya at the World Athletics Championships.

Kenya has claimed 62 gold, 55 silver and 44 bronze medals with much of their success coming over the long-distance races.

Coe visited Nairobi where he met Kenyan President William Ruto and Sports Minister Abadu Namwamba as well as representatives from Athletics Kenya and anti-doping authorities and several athletes.

There were fears that Athletics Kenya would be banned by World Athletics following a spate of positive doping cases.

However, the governing body evaded a lengthy ban after the Kenyan Government acted promptly, committing $25 million (£20.5 million/€23.7 million) to fight doping.

According to the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), Kenya has 54 athletes serving bans - the third most behind Russia with 92 and India with 65.

Kenya is one of seven "Category A" nations deemed by the AIU to have the highest doping risk and threaten the overall integrity of the sport.

Diana Kipyokei and Lawrence Cherono, both former Boston Marathon winners, are among the high-profile Kenyan athletes currently banned.

Last year's delayed World Athletics Championships was staged in Eugene in the US.

Hungarian capital Budapest is set to host this year's edition before Tokyo stages the event in two years' time.

(01/09/2023) Views: 488 ⚡AMP
by Geoff Berkeley

Infrastructure key in hosting major global events, Sebanstian Coe Says

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has said that Kenya will need to work on its infrastructural facilities among other areas if they are to host the World Athletics Championships.

Coe said that the county’s capacity and integration of all different facets that will give athletes the very best, must be attained as Athletics Kenya president Jack Tuwei disclosed that Kenya is now keen on hosting the 2029 World Athletics Championships.

Kenya lost its bid to host the 2025 World Athletics Championships to Tokyo, Japan with the country's poor infrastructure especially the lack of a modern stadium costing the country dearly.

Coe hinted that World Aesthetics is ready to help Kenya build capacity in terms of the technical aspect to bolster their chances of hosting the world event.  

“It’s quite understandable this is a country with a passion for athletics and wanting to stage big events. While the country’s track record is good, other areas still fall short,” said Coe, adding that the country also has to show progress and make coherent steps in resolving doping challenges.

Coe noted that Kenya might have hosted quite successful 2017 World Athletics Under-18 Championships and 2021 World Athletics Under-20 Championships but having a strong technical base will be key to hosting major events.

Coe said by-passing the 2027 bid will help Kenya prepare well for 2029 bid.

Tuwei welcomed the move by World Athletics to help them in technical capacity saying Kenya won’t relent on putting up another bid.

Coe, at the same time, said the only way out for Kenya to get out of Category “A” of the countries with most doping cases is the reduction of the cases.

In 2018, World Athletics placed Kenya among four countries in ‘Category A’, the others being Ethiopia, Belarus and Ukraine.

Athletes from these federations selected to compete in major events will have to undergo at least three out-of-competition doping tests in the 10 months before a World Athletics Championships or Olympic Games.

One of the tests must be of blood and the tests should be done two weeks apart.

(01/06/2023) Views: 509 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi

World Athletics boss Sebastian Coe meets Sports CS Ababu

Kenya is ready to abide by World Athletics guidelines in view of preserving the country’s strong tradition of competing and winning clean, Sports CS Ababu Namwamba has said.

Nawamba Wednesday told the visiting World Athletics President Sebastian Coe that the government will champion for cultural change in sport by inculcating the value of integrity amongst the athletes.

Namwamba said that they will partner with the Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) and Athletics Kenya to ensure that issues pertaining to athletics sports management and Kenya's battle against doping is achieved.

"I am a strong believer in Abraham Lincoln's philosophy that it is more honorable to lose than to cheat. Our athletes must also live by this," Namwamba told Coe, who paid him a courtesy call at Maktaba Kuu office, Nairobi Wednesday afternoon.

Coe, who arrived in the country on Tuesday, is on a one week private visit and holiday in the country.

The World Athletics boss will  Thursday hold discussions with Athletics Kenya officials, coaches and athletes at the Weston Hotel, Nairobi.

Coe, 66, will also have a session with the media starting at 11m at the same hotel.

Coe’s visit comes five weeks after chairing a World Athletics Council meeting in Italy , which gave the country a great reprieve on matters of doping.

Even though Kenya stayed in Category “A” of countries where doping is prevalent, the country escaped a ban despite the skyrocketing cases of doping cases in the country.

Coe lauded Kenya’s efforts to fight the doping scourge adding that the move by the Kenyan government to increase the funding in the fight against doping to Sh619 million annually for a period of five years, was evident enough.

Coe said that the funding will help increase the number of tests, investigations besides bolstering the already comprehensive education programs by Athletics Kenya and Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK).

In the last four years, 90 Kenyan athletes have been banned or suspended for varying doping offences with 30 cases coming last year.

(01/04/2023) Views: 563 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
Sebastian Coe

Kenya will look to criminalize doping in athletics

In an attempt to crack down on doping, Kenyan Sports Minster Ababu Namwama told BBC News Africa that he hopes to fast-track modifications to legislation and crack down on doping the same way the government does with illegal drugs.

Last week, the East African country avoided a sanction by governing body World Athletics—despite having 55 athletes currently serving doping-related suspensions. Kenya has the third highest number of suspensions behind Russia (102) and India (61) and is categorized as one of the seven “Category A” nations threatening the overall integrity of the sport.

On Dec. 2, the Kenyan government reached an agreement with World Athletics to spend USD $25 million over the next five years to combat the war on doping, which will help pay for more anti-doping personnel, increase testing and investigation and strengthen education.

“I believe we need to criminalize doping and elevate the handling of doping substances to the same level [as] narcotics,” says Namwama. “Convicted dopers should be dealt with the way we deal with drug traffickers.”

According to Kenyan law, any person who is in possession of any narcotic drug is guilty of an offense and faces a fine of five million Kenyan shillings (USD $40,000) or imprisonment for up to five years. They may also be forced into a rehabilitation program for a minimum of six months.

France is one country that outlaws doping in sports with prison sentences and fines. In 2009, the government adopted a law that penalizes the possession and trafficking of doping products in sports. Offenders can receive up to five years in jail and a 75,000-euro fine. For more severe cases, the penalty may also be increased to seven years and a fine of 150,000 euros. If an athlete is found guilty of personal use, they can be sentenced to a year in prison and a 3,750-euro fine.

During a World Athletics Council meeting in Rome in November, WA president Sebastian Coe said Kenya faces “a long journey ahead” to regain the trust of the World Athletics.

Coe told BBC News Africa that he has no problems with Kenya criminalizing the trafficking of these substances, but pointed out that criminalizing athletes can be complicated.

Previous attempts to criminalize doping in Kenya have been unsuccessful, with a motion submitted by former member of parliament and 2012 Boston Marathon champion Wesley Korir being defeated in 2016. Korir and his wife Tarah Korir lived in Waterloo, Ont. for several years before moving back to Kenya. 

(12/08/2022) Views: 578 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson

No ban for Kenya, says World Athletics president sebastian Coe

World Athletics president confirms east African nation will not receive a global suspension from the sport despite an alarming spate of drugs positives.

Speculation that Athletics Kenya will be barred from international competition was proved unfounded on Wednesday (Nov 30) when World Athletics president Seb Coe said the country has escaped a ban but will continue to sit on an anti-doping ‘watch list’.

Speaking at a World Athletics council press conference in Rome, Coe said the large number of top Kenyan athletes to test positive for drugs was “concerning” but the nation will not receive a Russian-style suspension due to, among other things, a pledge by the Kenyan government to plough $5 million per year into anti-doping efforts over the next five years.

“World Athletics has been concerned,” said Coe. “Kenya has been on the watch list for a few years already. 

“In one year 40% of all the positive tests in global athletics have been in Kenya and this is not a situation that World Athletics was prepared to sit and watch develop.”

Coe added that there has been “a lot of recent reportage, some of which has been correct and some not. But we have made real progress.”

As well as the Kenyan government funding, Coe said the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) will continue to work closely with Kenya to implement the plan. 

He added: “All stakeholders internationally and domestically are now aligned to resolve this situation and I am pleased we have a united response. But my instinct tells me it will be a long journey.

“This has to be collectively driven through all the stakeholders, internationally and domestically, who have a role and responsibility to solve this as quickly as possible.”

Coe said money would be spent on anti-doping education and “a deeper dive into the entourage of some of the people who surround the athletes”. 

This, he said, “allows us more horsepower to challenge some of these issues”.

Kenya aside, an update on the ongoing Russian ban was tackled by Coe and Rune Andersen, head of the World Athletics taskforce on restoring Russia to global competition.

Coe emphasised that two separate sanctions exist – the anti-doping related ban and the sanction relating to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

With regards anti-doping, good progress and cultural change has been made and Russia’s possible reinstatement into competition will be discussed again in March 2023.

Related to this, the Ukrainian Athletic Association was awarded the ‘president’s award’ as part of the World Athletics awards with Coe presenting Ukrainian AA president Yevhen Pronin with the honor during the press conference.

“I couldn’t think of anyone worthier than this for this year’s award,” said Coe. “What the Ukrainian Athletics Federation president, the coaches, and the athletes have done is just worthy of everyone’s respect and recognition.”

Elsewhere, Coe spoke about 2022 being “an immensely strong year for athletics” with four World Athletics Series events involving more than 4000 competitors from 180 countries with 554 national records and a television audience of more than one billion people.

The World Indoor Championships in Belgrade had an economic impact of $43m with the World Championships in Oregon having an impact of $273m.

The Continental Tour, meanwhile, saw 162 events with 12,000 athletes across 159 nations with 118 national records and 2400 PBs. Diamond League figures, Coe added, were not yet available for 2022.

Further council decisions included awarding the World Relays to Bahamas in 2024 as a qualifying event for the Paris Olympics. The road mile will become an official world record event from January. And the World Road Running Championships will switch from a biennial event to annual from 2025.


(11/30/2022) Views: 562 ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson

World Athletics Indoor Championships Nanjing 2023 to be postponed

It is with regret that the World Athletics Council has decided to postpone the World Athletics Indoor Championships Nanjing 2023, scheduled for 17-19 March 2023, until March 2025 (exact dates to be confirmed).

This decision was taken with the agreement of both the Nanjing organizing committee and the Chinese Athletics Association (CAA), due to the ongoing pandemic conditions.

Nanjing was originally selected to host the 2020 World Athletics Indoor Championships, which were first postponed until March 2021, and then to March 2023, as the pandemic continued.

The next edition of the World Athletics Indoor Championships will now be in Glasgow on 1-3 March 2024, and the bid process has already commenced for the 2026 edition of the championships, which is why 2025 has been designated as the year for the Nanjing championships.

“We’re disappointed that we have had to postpone this event again due to circumstances beyond our control, but we have done so to give certainty to athletes and Member Federations preparing for the 2023 competition season,” World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said. “Unfortunately, the time frame will prevent us from relocating the 2023 event, but the indoor championships will return in 2024 in Glasgow.

“We have offered Nanjing the 2025 edition because we are mindful of the substantial preparations the LOC has already done to host the event and we want to avoid potential financial losses for all parties. I want to thank CAA and the LOC for their cooperation in resolving this situation.”

Despite this postponement, athletes will still have substantial competitive opportunities available in the early part of 2023 through the World Athletics Indoor Tour, which will offer a full calendar of events from late January to March (more events to be added) and is organized across four different tiers of competition – Gold, Silver, Bronze and Challenger.

(09/01/2022) Views: 571 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
World Athletics Indoor Championships Nanjing

World Athletics Indoor Championships Nanjing

The IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships is being held in Nanjing in China, the first time this emerging nation has hosted the world´s major indoor athletics championships. The brand New Cube Arena is a multi-porpose venue and has a very limited capacity of just 3,000 seats which in a city with a population of 8.5 million means tickets will be...


Budapest 2023 World Athletics Championships schedule will favor double bids

Next year's World Athletics Championships in Budapest will last for nine days - one less than the last five editions of this event - and will favor athletes seeking double bids.

Popular doubles such as the 100m/200m, 800m/1500m, 1500m/5000m, 5000m/10,000m, 20km/35km race walk, women's long jump/triple jump and women's 200m/400m have all been made possible with athletes attempting them not having to contest more than one round in any given session.

The 2023 World Championships schedule - from August 19 to 27 - will involve 49 disciplines including six road events which will be spread across five separate mornings.

All track and field finals will be contested in the evening sessions, with at least four finals scheduled every day, even on the first day.

The final two days will feature eight medal events and both will end with women's relays.

And, as has been the case at recent major championships, the mixed and single-sex 4x400m finals are held either side of the individual one-lap disciplines to allow athletes to partake in both relays and individual disciplines should they so desire.

The first evening session will end with the mixed 4x400m final.

The men's 100m will be in the spotlight on the second day, while the women's 100m takes center stage on day three.

The women's 1500m will be one of four finals held on day four.

The men's 400m hurdles will conclude the action on day five.

Both 35km race walk finals will be held on the morning of day six and there will be no rest on the seventh day, as both 200m finals will conclude the evening session.

The women's marathon starts on the penultimate day, which will later include the men's pole vault and both 4x100m finals.

The men's marathon will be held on the morning of the final day and the championships will end with both 4x400m finals.

"The release of the timetable is a significant milestone for the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23, now less than a year away," World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said.

"After seeing the extraordinary crowds that descended on Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games and Munich for the European Championships in the last month, we know the appetite for our sport across Europe is as strong as ever and we're looking forward to taking our premier event to central Europe for the first time.

"Creating the timetable for an outdoor World Championships is a complex balancing act, taking into account the needs of athletes, broadcasters and the host city, as well as our other stakeholders.

"I’m confident that a return to a nine-day programme and evening-only finals in the stadium will be embraced by our athletes and audience in Budapest, and by those watching around the world."

Peter Deutsch, chief executive of the Budapest 2023 local organising committee, added: "We have created a schedule that best serves the interests of the athletes, including Hungarian athletes and the audience.

"There will be a lot of competitions late in the evening because that will be the right weather for the athletes.

"Every night there will be great excitement, there will be finals, and every night there will be Hungarians in the field for the home fans to cheer on.

"Our aim is for the World Championships to strengthen Hungarian athletics, to achieve the best results and to make this wonderful sport as popular as possible."

Tickets are due to go on sale in late 2022.


(08/27/2022) Views: 800 ⚡AMP
by Mike Rowbottom
World Athletics Championships Budapest 23

World Athletics Championships Budapest 23

From August 19-27, 2023, Budapest will host the world's third largest sporting event, the World Athletics Championships. It is the largest sporting event in the history of Hungary, attended by athletes from more than 200 countries, whose news will reach more than one billion people. Athletics is the foundation of all sports. It represents strength, speed, dexterity and endurance, the...


World Athletics to introduce repechage round in track events for Paris 2024

Runners knocked out in the opening round of track events from 200 to 1500 meters at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris will get another opportunity to continue in the competition after World Athletics announced they are to introduce a repechage round.

Under the new format approved by the World Athletics Council, athletes who do not qualify by place in round one heats, including the hurdles, will have a second chance to qualify for the semi-finals by participating in repechage heats.

The word repechage comes from the French verb "repêch", which literally means to "fish up again".

Idiomatically, it means "to get a second chance".

The repechage will replace the former system of athletes advancing through fastest times in addition to the top placings in the first-round heats.

These events will now have four rounds - round one, repechage round, semi-finals and the final, with schedules varying according to the specific nature of the event.

The new format means that every athlete competing in the events with a repechage round will have at least two races at Paris 2024.

As the 100m already has preliminary heats, before round one, the repechage will not be introduced in this event.

In addition, the repechage will not be introduced in distance events as the need for proper recovery between rounds makes the format impractical.

A number of sports already use the repechage system, including judo, rowing, taekwondo and wrestling.

But, unlike athletics where a runner could be knocked out in the first round and still go on to win gold thanks to the repechage, a competitor in these sports can win a bronze medal at best.

Cycling and rowing, however, use a similar system to the one athletics is proposing. 

"After consulting with our athletes and broadcasters, we believe this is an innovation which will make progression in these events more straightforward for athletes and will build anticipation for fans and broadcasters," World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said.

"The repechage rounds will give more exposure to our sport during the peak Olympic period and will be carefully scheduled to ensure that every event on our Olympic programme retains its share of the spotlight."

The final regulations of the format, including the timetable as well as system of advancement in each event, will be announced well in advance of the Olympic Games, World Athletics have promised.

(07/25/2022) Views: 614 ⚡AMP
by Duncan Mackay
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...


New athletics series to be launched in US to boost sport's popularity before Los Angeles 2028

A new circuit of athletics meetings designed to help popularise the sport in the build-up to the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles is set to be launched next year in the United States.

The series has been revealed by Max Siegel, the chief executive of USA Track & Field (USATF), with the aim of making athletics the country’s fifth-most-followed sport by the time of Los Angeles 2028.

The plan has been backed by World Athletics, who under its President Sebastian Coe, have long had the aim of making the sport more popular in the US and have joined forces with USATF on a series of initiatives called "Project America".

"Whether you think we're crazy or not, it gives us something to shoot for in terms of how they measure where track and field is in the ecosystem," Siegel told the Los Angeles Times.

The US has long been the sport’s most successful country when it comes to winning medals at the Olympic Games and World Championships, but its athletes' excellence has always outstripped the interest of the American public.

A World Athletics-contracted Nielsen study from 2019 found that track and field was the eighth-most-followed US sport, with 37 per cent of slightly more than 1,000 respondents indicating they were interested in it.

To move into the top five behind football on 66 per cent, baseball 56 per cent, basketball 55 per cent and soccer 47 per cent, track and field would need to surpass swimming, tennis and motor racing.

Coe believes that what gives athletics a great platform in the US is the fact that, according to their figures, there are already 50 million Americans who identify as recreational runners.

"The challenge is to form that really clear connect with what they are doing - particularly those recreational runners - and believing they are part of that track and field landscape," Coe said.

Besides California, Florida and Texas are among states identified as possible host venues for the new series.

Siegel plans to "take pre-existing events with built-in fanbases and create a 'festival-type atmosphere' around them, perhaps including a road race, to tap into its largest possible audience of casual runners."

He hopes that the current World Athletics Championships being staged in Eugene in Oregon, the first time the event has been held in the US, will help provide a launchpad for the new USATF series.

American broadcaster NBC is showing 12.5 hours from the World Championships on its main feed, including a first-ever prime-time window - four more hours than it has devoted to a previous world championship since the 2007 event in Osaka.

Among those publicly backing the new circuit is Allyson Felix, America’s seven-time Olympic and 13-time World Championship gold medallist. 

"I guess it’s been a long time coming," she said.

"I know that we’re really proud to host the World [Championships].

"We’re really excited you all get to see what we’ve seen and come to Hayward and experience the Hayward magic.

"I know in my career, I’ve always been a little envious of that athlete in the home country, that applause.

"I’m just really excited for all the US athletes to be able to get that experience.

"I hope that hosting events in the U.S. will bring in new fans, that people will understand the sport and be drawn to it.

"I hope that having the Olympics in Los Angeles coming up will bring a new wave of fans.

"So just really, we got to get out there and really keep kids engaged and enjoying the sport.

"I hope that having events in the US is one way."

(07/24/2022) Views: 547 ⚡AMP

Sebastian Coe hopes current athletes break 1980s records

Sebastian Coe wants the current generation of athletes to finally take down world records from the 1980s which he concedes “may not be the safest on the book”.

The issue has become a major talking point in Eugene after Shericka Jackson ran a stunning 21.45sec to win world 200m gold, a time that put her second on the all-time list behind Florence Griffith Joyner. The controversial American, who also broke the 100m record in an era when drugs testing was sporadic, died in 1998.

A number of other records in women’s sport have remained untouched since the 80s including the 400m, 800m, high jump, long jump, discus and shot put. They were all set by athletes from countries in the then eastern bloc.

“Legally, they are the existing records,” said the World Athletics president. “Legally, there’s nothing you can do or say beyond the evidence of a positive test. But this was my era so I have to accept it was a time when testing was a bit sporadic. We know it was a different era. There are records there that you look at and go, there’s nothing legally we can do about them but they may not be the safest records on the book.”

Lord Coe said it was impossible to strike the old records, but suggested the advent of super spikes and faster tracks could see more of them broken in the coming years. “I would prefer that there is an organic change through the Shericka Jacksons, who are now being tested regularly,” he added. “We have the Athletics Integrity Unit, we have their own national anti-doping agency that is now working far better than it was when I came into office, you’ve got agencies around the world.”

Asked to compare the modern era with the 80s, Coe added: “It’s a different world. I was part of that world so I’m not saying I was significantly different to anyone else there – well, I wasn’t a cheat. But the reality is there is very little legally you can do and I think we have to be realistic about it.

“There’s nothing that I’m in a position to do to rewrite the record books but I’m open about it – some of these records are not safe records.”

However, Coe, who himself set an 800m world record in 1981 that remained unbroken until 1997, admitted he felt some sympathy for those stuck behind the iron curtain who were forced to dope by their governments. “When you look at athletes that had to come through that system, you have more sympathy than you do for the athletes who chose, of their own volition in liberal democracies, to do it,” the double Olympic champion added.

(07/23/2022) Views: 584 ⚡AMP
by Sean Ingle
World Athletics Championships Budapest23

World Athletics Championships Budapest23

Budapest is a true capital of sports, which is one of the reasons why the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 is in the right place here. Here are some of the most important world athletics events and venues where we have witnessed moments of sporting history. Throughout the 125-year history of Hungarian athletics, the country and Budapest have hosted numerous...


Track and field officials confirmed Friday that Russians will not be allowed to compete at this month’s World Athletics Championships Oregon22 due to the war in Ukraine

The federation banned Russians from major international events shortly after the country invaded Ukraine in February. At the time, World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said the unprecedented move appeared “to be the only peaceful way to disrupt and disable Russia’s current intentions and restore peace.”

The world championships begin next Friday and run through July 24.

World Athletics confirmed the ban in a news release announcing it had cleared an additional 18 Russian athletes to compete as neutrals in international competition, but that the approvals would not apply to worlds.

Those athletes were cleared as part of a protocol in the wake of a doping scandal that has left Russia’s athletics federation under suspension since 2015. At last year’s Olympics, 10 Russians were allowed in the track meet; at the world championships in 2019, 29 Russians competed.

There are now 73 Russian athletes who can compete as neutrals, though their status at major international events is in limbo due to the war.

Among those athletes is reigning Olympic and world champion high jumper Maria Lasitskene, who has never lost in an international competition. Last month, she blasted the decision in an open letter to Thomas Bach, the president of the IOC, which has recommended the Russian ban.

Lasitskene’s top rivals are from Ukraine and she said “I still don’t know what to say to them or how to look into their eyes.”

“They and their friends and relatives are experiencing what no one human being should ever have to feel,” she said.

(07/09/2022) Views: 661 ⚡AMP

Yangzhou 2022 Half Marathon Championships canceled due to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced another premium event to be canceled in China.

This time, the World Athletics Half Marathon, which was scheduled to be held in Yangzhou in November, has been called off.

The event was originally due to take place on March 27 but was re-scheduled for November 13.

A decision was made after the Chinese Athletics Association (CAA) and the local Organizing Committee mutually agreed that the Championships cannot be held this year after a lengthy discussion.

At the same time, the 2027 World Athletics Road Running Championships was granted to Yangzhou, which is set to be held in March 2027.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe conveyed his thanks to CAA and everyone who was involved in preparations for the World Half Marathon Championships.

"Unfortunately, the championships can’t be held this year, through no fault of the LOC, but our endurance athletes will have the opportunity to compete in Riga next year," Coe said.

"The Council’s decision to award another event to Yangzhou in 2027 indicates its faith in the organizing committee and willingness to return and stage a World Athletics Series road running event there at the first available opportunity."

The first Road Running Championships is scheduled to be held in the Latvian capital of Riga from September 30 to October 1 2023.

Plans to incorporate the Half Marathon Championships as part of the Road Running Championships in the future has been made with the world 5 kilometers championships set to be introduced as well.

China has strict COVID-19 policies with restrictions on international arrivals  and lockdowns.

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games was held in February in a "closed-loop management" system with regular tests being carried out.

Recently, the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, initially scheduled to be held from September 10 to September 25, was postponed because of the pandemic.

(07/05/2022) Views: 615 ⚡AMP
by Vimal Sankar
World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The Chinese city of Yangzhou will host the 2022 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships. China, one of the fastest-growing markets in road running, had 24 World Athletics Label road races in 2019, more than any other country. It hosted the World Half Marathon Championships in 2010 in Nanning and will stage the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing in 2021. ...


Ukrainian athletes benefit from fund to attend World Athletics Championships

The first group of Ukrainian athletes and coaches depart today (Thursday) for the USA ahead of next month’s World Athletics Championships Oregon22.

World Athletics is distributing more than US$220,000 to support Ukrainian athletes preparing for the World Championships and the World Athletics U20 Championships Cali 22 in response to the crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

World Athletics, the Member Meetings of Diamond League Association and the International Athletics Foundation launched a Ukraine Fund in April with the purpose of assisting professional athletes, immediate family members and their support personnel affected by Russia’s invasion of their home country.

This was in addition to a Solidarity Fund established by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in February, which has already allocated about US$2.5 million to the Ukrainian Olympic Community and sports movement.

Both funds have enabled the Ukrainian Federation to pay a significant portion of the cost of training camps and competition across Europe for athletes preparing for these major events while a number of European National Olympic Committees, in coordination with the IOC, have provided support too.

The Athletics Ukraine Fund is now being used to fund the entire Ukrainian delegation’s attendance in Oregon.

So far 53 athletes, 25 coaches and officials, and 18 family members including children have received assistance from the Fund.

With the support of the IOC, the Fund will also ensure the Ukrainian team’s attendance at the World U20 Championships in Cali in August.

The IOC and European Athletics also assisted with training camps in Europe while the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee is providing additional support for athletes attending a training camp in California leading into the World Championships.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: ”I am grateful and proud of the way the athletics community and the Olympic community have come together to support the Ukrainian Federation as they try to keep as many athletes as they can in training and competition. My thanks go to everyone involved for their support as these athletes prepare to represent their country while the war continues.”

Iolanta Khropach, General Secretary of the Ukrainian Athletic Association, said the federation was extremely grateful for the support of the combined athletics organisations and the IOC who came immediately to their aid after the invasion.

“They help our athletes to train and compete,” she said. “Without this support, it just would not be possible. This is more than just having good facilities and possibility to perform at World Championships and other events. World Athletics and European Athletics have helped to save the lives of our athletes.

“Many Ukrainian athletes now defend our country with weapons in their hands. Our sports infrastructure is destroyed. World Athletics was one of the first sports organisations in the world that banned Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials. We appreciate it so much and believe in World Athletics' strong position in the future.

“We are grateful to World Athletics and the IOC, as well as to every federation, LOC, other organisations, and individuals supporting us during these challenging times. Now we feel like never before that we are a true athletics family.”

World Athletics would like to thank all those organisations who have made generous contributions to the Ukraine Fund, including Members of the Diamond League Association, the International Athletics Foundation, the IOC, USOPC and PWC France Sport Challenge.

The fund can receive additional contributions at any time until fund closure which is set for 31 December 2023. Funding per beneficiary will be allocated on a needs-basis.

Potential donors to the fund should contact 

World Athletics is coordinating with the International Olympic Committee’s Solidarity Fund for the Ukrainian Olympic Community to prevent any duplication of efforts.

(06/30/2022) Views: 675 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
World Athletics Championships Budapest23

World Athletics Championships Budapest23

Budapest is a true capital of sports, which is one of the reasons why the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 is in the right place here. Here are some of the most important world athletics events and venues where we have witnessed moments of sporting history. Throughout the 125-year history of Hungarian athletics, the country and Budapest have hosted numerous...


Qualification period ends for World Athletics Championships Oregon22

Some 1900 athletes have qualified to compete at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 from July 15-24.

The qualification period for individual track and field disciplines closed on June 26, following a busy weekend of national championships action, while the invitation process for relays ended on June 28.

About 63 percent of athletes have qualified by entry standard, 33 percent by world ranking position and four percent by designated finishes in qualifying competitions (such as area championships). 75 countries are expected to enter athletes through universality places.

The Road to Oregon tool on the World Athletics website shows which athletes – subject to being officially selected by their member federation – have qualified to compete at the World Championships, either by entry standard or world ranking position within a discipline’s quota.

The tool identifies the first three qualifiers per nation (in bold) but any athlete who has qualified can be selected within the limit of three per nation. As this is a qualification monitoring tool, not an entry monitoring tool, it won't highlight which athletes have been officially selected by their member federation, but team announcements of many of the leading nations will be published on the World Athletics website in the weeks leading up to the championships.

Member federations have until the entry deadline of July 4 to submit their final selections.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said: “The end of the qualifying period is an important milestone on the way to our World Championships and the final qualified list is a good indicator of the unparalleled strength of our sport around the world. I’m delighted to see that almost 200 countries have qualified athletes for the pinnacle event in our sport. As we begin the final countdown to the start of the World Championships in just 16 days, I wish every qualified athlete the best of fortune and I hope to see you all at your best in Oregon.”  

Wild card entries are offered to all individual winners from the World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, along with the winners of the 2021 Wanda Diamond League and Combined Events Challenge. The acceptance of those wild card entries, however, rests with member federations. Only one wildcard can be used by a member federation in each discipline.

Several places in relay disciplines, meanwhile, were claimed at the World Athletics Relays Silesia 21.

(06/29/2022) Views: 683 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
World Athletics Championships Budapest23

World Athletics Championships Budapest23

Budapest is a true capital of sports, which is one of the reasons why the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 is in the right place here. Here are some of the most important world athletics events and venues where we have witnessed moments of sporting history. Throughout the 125-year history of Hungarian athletics, the country and Budapest have hosted numerous...


The integrity of women’s sport is really important here, and we can not have a generation of young girls thinking there is not a future for them in the sport says Sebastian Coe

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe has stated that the global athletics governing body will look at their rules concerning the inclusion of transgender athletes in female events at a Council meeting toward the end of this year.

This statement comes days after the International Swimming Federation (FINA), swimming’s governing body, voted to stop trans female athletes from competing in women’s elite races if they have gone through any part of the gender transformation process after puberty or age 12. FINA also stated that they will establish an open category in some events for swimmers whose gender identity is different than their birth sex.

(Photo - Caster Semenya is a woman and a man. The South African champ has no womb or ovaries and her testosterone levels are more than three times higher than those of a normal female, according to reports.)

Transgender rights have become a major talking point in sports in an effort to balance inclusivity with ensuring they do not have an unfair advantage arising from the residual effects of puberty.

The debate intensified this year after University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas became the first transgender NCAA champion in history, winning the women’s 500-yard freestyle.

In an interview with BBC Sport, Coe, a two-time Olympic 800m champion, outlined his support for the recent measures taken by FINA.

“The integrity of women’s sport is really, really important here, and we can’t have a generation of young girls thinking there is not a future for them in the sport. So we have a responsibility…maintaining the primacy and the integrity of female competition is absolutely vital, and that’s why we were at the forefront of tabling those regulations that allow as close as you can get to a level playing field,” says Coe.

Coe on FINA’s ruling:

“This is as it should be. We have always believed that biology trumps gender and we will continue to review our regulations in line with this. We will follow the science.”

FINA’s new guideline means that Thomas, who has expressed a desire to compete for Team U.S.A. at the Paris Olympics, is now blocked from participating in the women’s category at the Games. There have been talks to establish an “open” category at world championships for athletes whose gender identity is different than their assigned gender at birth.

The current World Athletics guideline from 2018 states that transgender women can compete in the women’s category if they reduce their testosterone levels to below five nanomoles per litre for at least 12 months before competing.

“We continue to study, research and contribute to the growing body of evidence that testosterone is a key determinant in performance, and have scheduled a discussion on our regulations with our council at the end of the year,” says Coe.

International sports federations may set their own policies but will be subject to World Athletics and IOC rules when it comes to sending athletes to the World Championships and Olympic Games.

(06/22/2022) Views: 766 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine

Tokyo Olympian Tachlowini Gabriyesos will lead a six-member Athlete Refugee Team (ART) to next month's World Athletics Championships Oregon22.

Tachlowini Gabriyesos, 24, made waves one year ago when he finished 16th in the Olympic marathon in Sapporo, beating some of the world's best marathoners.

“It makes me so proud to once again wear the Athlete Refugee Team vest at the World Championships,” said Gabriyesos, a native of Eritrea who made his Athlete Refugee Team debut at the 2019 World Championships in Doha where he competed in the 5000m.

“I don’t represent a country, but millions of people without one. I want to be a role model for refugee youth around the world and wish to show the world once again that refugees can be strong, that we are hungry for success and that we deserve equal opportunities.”

Gabriyesos fled conflict and bloodshed in Eritrea at age 12 and journeyed through Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt before crossing the Sinai desert on foot to Israel where he's been living since 2010. He began running soon after and eventually found that he was best suited for athletics' longest running event.

At the Hahula Galilee Marathon in Israel in March 2021, Gabriyesos clocked 2:10:55 to become the first refugee athlete to meet an Olympic qualifying standard. He later served as the co-flag bearer for the Olympic Refugee Team at Tokyo’s Opening Ceremonies. After his solid performance in Sapporo's hot and muggy conditions, Gabriyesos improved to 2:10:09 at the Seville Marathon in February.

After its involvement with the inaugural Refugee Olympic Team that competed at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, World Athletics established the Athlete Refugee Team in 2017 to provide refugees with high level training and competitive opportunities.

It is the world’s only year-round team composed solely of refugee athletes. The team has been represented at almost every World Championship event since, in addition to a growing number of continental and regional events, most recently the European 10,000m Cup in May and the African Championships earlier this month.

"On this World Refugee Day, our Athlete Refugee Team brings a powerful and inspirational message of hope and solidarity to the world, at a time when it's truly needed," said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe. "They're also showing, through their rapid development and world class performances, that they do belong among the world's best athletes."

Representing a community of 89 million

When the refugee team was introduced at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, that squad of 10 – six competing in athletics – represented 65 million people around the world who had been forcibly displaced from their homes.

That figure soared to more than 82 million by 2020 and, propelled by conflict, the climate crisis and skyrocketing inequality, has grown to 89.3 million at the end of 2021. The six athletes who are set to compete in Eugene next month will represent a community that collectively would be the 17th most populous country on the planet.

Similarly, the number of athletes involved in the World Athletics Athlete Refugee Team project continues to grow. More than 40 athletes are now involved in the programme, training at their respective bases in Kenya, Israel, France, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, Canada and Portugal.

Gabriyesos will be joined by Jamal Abdalmajid Eisa-Mohammed, a native of Sudan, who will make his second consecutive World Championships appearance in the 5000m. The 28-year-old improved his lifetime best over the distance to 13:42.98 at the Olympic Games last year.

Dorian Keletela, 23, will be making his third ART appearance after outings at the 2021 European Indoor Championships and last summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo. In the Japanese capital, he clocked 10.33 to win his 100m heat in the preliminary round, smashing his previous career best by 0.13. He improved to 10.27 last year and at the moment has a 10.47 season's best.

Fouad Idbafdil, a refugee from Morocco who is based in France, rounds out the men's squad. The 34-year-old steeplechase specialist improved his lifetime best to 8:37.94 nine days ago. He too competed on the ART squad in Doha in 2019.

The women’s team is led by Anjelina Nadai Lohalith, who will bring plenty of experience to the start line of the 1500m. The 27-year-old native of South Sudan, who is based at the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation training camp in Ngong, Kenya, will be making her second World Championships appearance after her debut in 2017.

Nadai is a two-time Olympian and most recently competed at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade in March and the African Championships in Mauritius 11 days ago. She set her 4:31.65 lifetime best in Tokyo last year.

She'll be joined by Atalena Napule Gaspore, another South Sudanese athlete from the Loroupe camp, who will be making her Athlete Refugee Team debut competing in the 800m.

Athlete refugee team for WCH Oregon22

Women 800m: Atalena Napule Gaspore 1500m: Anjelina Nadai Lohalith

Men 100m: Dorian Keletela 5000m: Jamal Abdalmajid Eisa-Mohammed marathon: Tachlowini Gabriyesos 3000m steeplechase: Fouad Idbafdil

(06/20/2022) Views: 714 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
World Athletics Championships Budapest23

World Athletics Championships Budapest23

Budapest is a true capital of sports, which is one of the reasons why the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 is in the right place here. Here are some of the most important world athletics events and venues where we have witnessed moments of sporting history. Throughout the 125-year history of Hungarian athletics, the country and Budapest have hosted numerous...


Sebastian Coe runs first few steps at Budapest’s new National Athletics Centre

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe ran the first metres on the track at the new National Athletics Centre of Hungary, which will be the venue for the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23 in just over a year.

Coe, who is in Budapest for the FINA World Championships, met with key members of the local organising committee for the 2023 World Athletics Championships, including CEO Péter Deutsch and Hungarian Athletics Association President Miklós Gyulai. During his time in the Hungarian capital, Coe was shown around the National Athletics Centre by 2017 world 110m hurdles bronze medallist Balázs Baji.

Coe also joined 10 participants from the Hungarian Kids’ Athletics Programme and ran with them on the field of play in the new stadium, which is still under construction. The Hungarian Kids’ Athletics Programme aims to inspire more and more children to choose athletics as their first sport, given it is the foundation of all sports. As a result of the programme, the number of young athletes aged six to 12 has already increased by 30% in Hungary in 2021. The programme is part of World Athletics’ Kids’ Athletics initiative.

“I am impressed with the organisation,” said Coe. “Of course there is still a lot to do, but everything is going to plan. I saw a very focused team and I’m sure we’ll see a fantastic World Championships here in Budapest in 2023. Even with the ongoing construction, the stadium already looks impressive. It was great to meet some of the budding young talent from the Hungarian Kids’ Athletics Programme, and it was a pleasure to join them in their debut at the stadium. I hope they all get an opportunity to compete here in the years to come.”

Deutsch added: “Just over a year from now, in August 2023, the World Athletics Championships – the biggest sporting event in Hungary's history – will begin. Our goal with the World Championships is to strengthen and promote the Hungarian athletics and to get as many children as possible to choose this fantastic sport.”

(06/18/2022) Views: 838 ⚡AMP

World Athletics maintains ban against Russian and Belarusian athletes at World Championships

World Athletics has announced that Russian and Belarusian athletes will not be participating in July’s World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore. Barring an unexpected end to the war in Ukraine, the sanctions first imposed in early March will continue.

When asked about the implications for Russian athletes at the event, World Athletics referred to their March 1st statement announcing the ban. Sebastian Coe, president of WA, commented:

“There’s not a single sports federation out there that naturally wants to exclude teams or individuals. That’s not something that we came into the sport for,” Coe said. “But I think we have to recognize that this is such a game-changer. And, yes, it will set precedents.”

The 2022 World Championships will be the largest international sporting event following the 2021 Olympic Games.

The Russian Track Federation has been banned from competing as a team or a host until 2023 due to doping scandals, but individual athletes had a chance at competing once vetted. Since 2015, Russian athletes have had to apply and compete within track and field events as ANA (Authorized Neutral Athletes). As of March, the 33 athletes who were granted ANA status can no longer compete on the world stage. This means they will not be heading to Eugene next month.

(06/03/2022) Views: 637 ⚡AMP
by Keeley Milne
World Athletics Championships Budapest23

World Athletics Championships Budapest23

Budapest is a true capital of sports, which is one of the reasons why the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 is in the right place here. Here are some of the most important world athletics events and venues where we have witnessed moments of sporting history. Throughout the 125-year history of Hungarian athletics, the country and Budapest have hosted numerous...


Ukraine Fund launches to support athletes affected by conflict

World Athletics, together with the International Athletics Foundation (IAF) and the Members of the Diamond League Association, has today launched a Ukraine Fund to support professional athletes affected by the conflict in their home country.

The fund’s purpose is to ensure that elite Ukrainian athletes and their key support personnel can continue to train, qualify and participate in World Championship events following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Two groups will be eligible for funding: individual athletes (Group One) and key athlete support personnel and immediate family members (Group Two).

Group One includes athletes who are affiliated to the Ukrainian Athletic Association and have qualified, or have a credible chance to qualify, to compete at any upcoming World Athletics Championships until fund closure. Group Two includes those acting as a designated coach or team leader to athletes in Group One, as well as parents, spouses and children living together with athletes in Group One.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe commented: “It’s only right that the athletics community provides whatever support we can to the athletes of Ukraine, who have been put in this terrible situation and need our assistance to continue training and competing. I know several of our Member Federations in Europe are already hosting groups of Ukrainian athletes in training camps and I’m grateful for their humanitarian approach to these tragic circumstances. This fund will provide further support for Ukrainian athletes to enable them to have some stability and security as they prepare to represent their country while the war continues.”

Commenting from Ukraine, President of the Ukrainian Athletic Association YevheniiPronin said: “In dark times you can clearly see bright people. World Athletics, Diamond League, IAF and all the national federations that offered us their help - this is the standard of unity and support!

"Thousands of victims, millions of refugees, destroyed infrastructure, including sports infrastructure, terrified our hearts, but we believe that the worst is over.

"Every day I thank from my heart the entire world community for opening the doors of their homes for our people, for everyone who helps our athletes and their families and for World Athletics, for creating this fund for our athletes and our sport.

"The entire team of the federation is safe and is working to ensure that the athletes of our country and their families are safe and together with you we will save our favorite sport and make it stronger. Thank you from all Ukraine."

The fund will provide financial assistance to the following:

For Group One:

• Enrolment, subsistence and accommodation, at training camps / temporary housing;

• Travel and accommodation to compete at qualifying events for World Championships;

• Travel and accommodation to compete at World Athletics Championships if not otherwise provided;

• Training material and equipment.

For Group Two:

• Coach attendance to training and competition;

• Travel and accommodation to accompany Group One athletes at qualifying events for World Championships;

• Travel and accommodation to accompany Group One athletes at World Athletics Championships.

The fund opens today with a current budget of US$190,000, created with contributions from the IAF, Diamond League members and World Athletics. The Diamond League Association has previously donated US$30,000 directly to the Ukrainian Athletic Association and many of the individual meeting organizers will provide additional travel and accommodation support to athletes wanting to compete in their meetings.

It is expected that up to 100 Ukrainian athletes may require some financial support this year.

The fund can receive additional contributions at any time until fund closure which is set for December 31, 2023. Funding per beneficiary will be allocated on a needs-basis.

Potential beneficiaries can register for consideration by emailing

Other athletics organizations who would like to contribute to the fund, should also contact

World Athletics will coordinate with the International Olympic Committee’s Solidarity Fund for the Ukrainian Olympic community, through senior vice-president Sergey Bubka, to prevent any duplication of efforts.

(04/08/2022) Views: 768 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics

The future of women's sport is very fragile, says Sebastian Coe

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said the state of women's sports is "very fragile" and sports federations need to get it right when writing rules for transgender female athletes.

Coe's comments come after University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas became the first transgender NCAA champion in Division I history by winning the women's 500-yard freestyle in Atlanta last week.

"The integrity of women's sport – if we don't get this right – and, actually, the future of women's sport, is very fragile," Coe was quoted as saying in British paper The Times on Monday.

"These are sensitive issues, they are societal issues – they go way, way beyond sport. I don't have the luxury to get into endless discussions or the school of moral philosophy."

Thomas competed on the men's team for three years before transitioning and moving to the women's team and setting multiple program records.

Last month, USA Swimming unveiled a new policy to allow transgender athletes to swim in elite events by setting out criteria that aim to mitigate any unfair advantages.

The rules include testing to ensure testosterone is below a certain level – five nanomoles per litre continuously for at least 36 months - in transgender athletes who wish to compete against cisgender female swimmers.

World Athletics requires transgender athletes to have low testosterone levels for at least 12 months before competition.

"We are asking for a greater length of (time) before competition because the residual impact of transitioning like that is more profound," Coe said.

"There is no question that testosterone is the key determinant in performance."

Transgender rights have long been a controversial and politically divisive issue in the United States from sports to serving in the military, and even what bathrooms people are allowed to use.

Coe said he understands the sensitive nature of the issue and said he wants to focus on the science.

Sebastian Coe "It's really difficult to keep the emotion out of this and subjectivity, so we do have to really stick as closely as we can to the science –and that's what we've always tried to do when it's been uncomfortable," he said.

"You can't be oblivious to public sentiment ... but science is important. If I wasn't satisfied with the science that we have and the experts that we have used and the in-house teams that have been working on this for a long time ... if I wasn't comfortable about that, this would be a very different landscape."

(03/22/2022) Views: 755 ⚡AMP
by Rory Carroll

Sebatian Coe says sports must fight to keep Russia banned

Sports federations have set precedents by banning Russian and Belarusian athletes from competition following the invasion of Ukraine and they must remain firm to keep them in place, Sebastian Coe said Monday.

Coe is a two-time Olympic champion runner from Britain who is now the president of World Athletics, the governing body of track and field. He spoke four days before the start of the world indoor championships. Both Russians and Belarusians have been excluded from that event, which will be held in Serbia.

“There’s not a single sports federation out there that naturally wants to exclude teams or individuals. That’s not something that we came into the sport for,” Coe said during a video conference call. “But I think we have to recognize that this is such a game changer. And, yes, it will set precedents.”

Athletes and teams from Russia and Belarus have been kicked out of dozens of sports since Russian forces invaded Ukraine last month, with some soldiers entering via Belarus. The biggest events to be immediately impacted by the decision to ban Russians and Belarusians include the upcoming track championships, the figure skating world championships and soccer.

The bans from soccer, which include the Russian national team from World Cup qualifying and Russian club Spartak Moscow from the Europa League competition, have been challenged by the Football Union of Russia. The first appeal rulings are expected this week from the Court of Arbitration for Sport — the highest sports court in the world.

“We absolutely accept that this will set precedents and those precedents will have to be faced individually and sequentially and they will be with us for years,” Coe said. “We haven’t made this easy on ourselves but it is still the right decision.

“You cannot have aggressor nations, where you have so altered the landscape for the integrity of competition being untouched, while the actions of their governments have so influenced the integrity of sport elsewhere.”

Russia’s opponent in the World Cup qualifying playoffs, Poland, has said it won’t play against the country on March 24. The two next possible opponents, the Czech Republic and Sweden, have said the same.

Track and field had previously been the hardest on Russians following the country’s state-sponsored doping scandal dating back to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Russians now have to be individually vetted in order to compete in international track events. The Russian track federation has been banned since 2015.

“I don’t have a problem with (banning Russians) because that’s what we’ve done in our sport. I don’t see why that should be different in any other sport if you’re making that judgement on the integrity of the sport,” Coe said. “Goodness me, in football, you’ve already seen teams that decided they’re not going to play in playoff rounds.

“The impact is across the board. So they are going to need to remain really firm on this and do exactly what we’ve done.”

(03/19/2022) Views: 781 ⚡AMP
by Chris Lehourites

World Athletics bans athletes from Russia and Belarus

World Athletics will impose sanctions against the member federations of Russia and Belarus as a consequence of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Russian and Belarusian athletes will be excluded from all World Athletics events for the foreseeable future, effective immediately.

This sanction means that all Russian or Belarusian athletes who have received ANA (Authorized Neutral Athlete) status will have their accreditation withdrawn and entries denied, as will any coaches, personnel and officials.

The suspension will include the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon, the 2022 World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, and the 2022 World Athletics Race Walking Championships in Muscat, Oman, which are set to begin on March 4.

World Athletics has also agreed to consider the suspension of the Belarus Federation, which will be a topic of discussion at the scheduled WA Council meeting on March 10.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said:

“The world is horrified by what Russia has done, aided and abetted by Belarus. World leaders sought to avoid this invasion through diplomatic means but to no avail given Russia’s unswerving intention to invade Ukraine. The unprecedented sanctions that are being imposed on Russia and Belarus by countries and industries all over the world appear to be the only peaceful way to disrupt and disable Russia’s current intentions and restore peace.”

The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) has been suspended from competing in World Athletics events since 2015 due to multiple doping violations. They are currently not eligible to host World Athletics events or send teams to international championships until 2023.

Two weeks ago, on Feb. 17, World Athletics and its Doping Control Review Board (DRB) announced it had approved the applications of 33 Russian athletes to compete in international competition as neutral athletes (ANA) this year. Now, the 33 Russian athletes who received ANA status for 2022 are excluded from World Athletics Series events.

(03/01/2022) Views: 791 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe, philosophically opposed to boycotts

Sebastian Coe said he is “philosophically opposed” to boycotts and prefers dialogue as a means to work through issues after the Diamond League announced the addition of a second event in China next year.

The Diamond League said on Tuesday Shenzhen would host the 2022 season’s second meet in China on August 6th, after the July 30th event in Shanghai.

The United States, Britain and Australia are among countries that have announced a diplomatic boycott of the February 4th-20th Beijing Winter Games over China’s human rights record, a stand that China dismissed as “political posturing”.

Sport in China is also under the microscope after tennis player Peng Shuai alleged that a former Chinese vice premier had sexually assaulted her in the past. The Women’s Tennis Association said it would suspend tournaments in China due to concerns over her safety.

Peng, who was absent from public view from nearly three weeks, said on Sunday that she had never accused anyone of sexually assaulting her.

Speaking after the decision to add another event in China, Coe said: “We are concerned for the welfare of all athletes.

“I believe all athletes should be free to voice their concerns and sports should never flinch from making those points.

“But it is still better to have open dialogue and sporting relationships than pulling up the drawbridge.”

Briton Coe won 1,500m gold at the 1980 Moscow Olympics when 66 countries, led by the United States, boycotted the event, and again four years later in Los Angeles when Russia, the Eastern bloc and its allies responded in kind.

“I’m philosophically opposed to sporting boycotts,” said Coe. “I experienced them and they tend not to achieve what they set out to achieve.”

(12/31/2021) Views: 864 ⚡AMP
by The Irish Times

Sebastian Coe states stand on vaccination of athletes

World Athletics will not force athletes to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

But the world track and field governing body’s President Seb Coe maintains that it would be prudent for the athletes to get the jab “for the greater good.”

In the last few days, world sport has felt the effects of the latest Omicron variant of the coronavirus with several English Premier League matches suspended to curb the spread of the virus.

On Friday, agencies reported that Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was forced to cancel a pre-match press conference after returning an inconclusive coronavirus test result.

AFP reported that Guardiola must now await the result of a follow-up PCR test before finding out if he will be able to lead the English champions for Sunday’s trip to Newcastle.

Also, the Confederation of African Football on Thursday announced that supporters attending matches at next month’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon will be required to show proof of vaccination and present a negative Covid-19 test result.

In a Zoom interview with Nation Sport on Friday, Coe said World Athletics was studying the situation but would not force athletes to get the vaccinations.

Coe said he had just held discussions with Stephane Bermont, World Athletics’ director of health and science department, about the challenges athletics will be confronted with in a few months.

“We don’t understand yet as much as we need to about Omicron, and it will be a few weeks before we understand, through the data, the full impact,” Coe responded to a Nation Sport question.

“But we have to assume that for the moment, and for the next few weeks, there are going to be some difficulties. My personal view — and I’m not really speaking on behalf of World Athletics, but I guess it’s inevitable that I do — is that I’m always aware about personal liberties,” Coe explained regarding vaccination.

“I’m not comfortable about telling athletes they have to be vaccinated — there may be good reasons why they choose not to be, and there may be health reasons why they choose not to be…

“But all I’d say, if they have the ability or potential to be vaccinated, I think it’s a sensible approach (to be vaccinated).

Coe noted that while he’s not forcing athletes to be vaccinated, individual countries are going to be more demanding about everybody, and vaccination may be inevitable.

“My advice to athletes is if you have the ability to get the vaccine, it is probably a sensible thing to do, but I’m not yet at that point where I need to be mandating or telling athletes that they have to do that.”

Coe noted that the vaccination debate is more than an athletics issue, stressing that communities around the sport must also be kept safe.

“We don’t want (to host) events that are super spreaders. We have to be mindful of those communities that we join, and which host our events because we don’t want to leave them with rising numbers – it’s not just the welfare of athletes but also the welfare of communities that host our events.”

(12/21/2021) Views: 867 ⚡AMP
by Elias Makori

Sebastian Coe optimistic of great year ahead despite Covid-19 threats

World Athletics (WA) President Seb Coe is confident the global athletics governing body is well equipped and informed to continue organising top level competitions while tackling the challenges posed by Covid-19.

Eugene, in Oregon State, will host the 2022 World Championships at the brand new Hayward Field Stadium in the heart of the University of Oregon from July 15 to 28.

“It’s absolutely vital that whenever we have a World Championships, we do everything we possibly can to have our seats absolutely full,” Lord Coe said.

“And that’s not just the work of the LOC (Local Organising Committee). That’s also the work we need to do at World Athletics to make sure that we have all the right initiatives in place to help sell tickets.”

He acknowledged the fact that with more insights on Covid-19 and with sports having developed protocols to guard against the spread of the coronavirus at competitions, it will be easier to navigate through the virus.

But he conceded that with the unpredictable nature of the virus, nothing could be cast in stone on the programme.

“We know a great deal more about the management of Covid-19, both medically and within our own stadiums.

“Our health and science teams have probably led the world in making sure that we stage events that are safe and secure to protect the athletes and crucially to protect those communities that are hosting our events.


“But the world is an uncertain place at the moment. We will have all the protocols and processes in place, but we can’t at this moment guarantee our borders remaining open if the pandemic suddenly takes a turn for the worse.

“We don’t have enough data to know if this variant (omicron) is more transmittable but not causing more illness… all that, I’m afraid, we have to wait for scientists and governments to decide on the direction forward.

“But we will do everything we possibly can to ensure that the stadium in Oregon is full and that people are able to travel, but we can’t obviously open borders that are closed by governments. That remains a challenge to us.”

The WA President said next year - and the next four seasons - will be crucial to the sport, and is excited that USA has finally come round to organising a global competition as they hold a special place as the world’s biggest sports market.

The last major global athletics events hosted by USA were the 2014 World Junior (under-20) Championships in Eugene and 1992 World Cross Country Championships in Boston along with the 2016 World Indoor Championships in Portland.

“We have four major athletics events and also the European Championships (next year).

“We have a global championship every year for the next four years and that will mean working very closely with all our organizing committees.

“The United States is very important for us, to help grow the sport. It’s the largest sports market in the world, and it’s also an opportunity for your athletes to have more competitive outlets and to grow their profile in a very important market."

“But the world is an uncertain place at the moment. We will have all the protocols and processes in place, but we can’t at this moment guarantee our borders remaining open if the pandemic suddenly takes a turn for the worse.

“We don’t have enough data to know if this variant (omicron) is more transmittable but not causing more illness… all that, I’m afraid, we have to wait for scientists and governments to decide on the direction forward.

“But we will do everything we possibly can to ensure that the stadium in Oregon is full and that people are able to travel, but we can’t obviously open borders that are closed by governments. That remains a challenge to us.”

The WA President said next year - and the next four seasons - will be crucial to the sport, and is excited that USA has finally come round to organising a global competition as they hold a special place as the world’s biggest sports market.

The last major global athletics events hosted by USA were the 2014 World Junior (under-20) Championships in Eugene and 1992 World Cross Country Championships in Boston along with the 2016 World Indoor Championships in Portland.

“We have four major athletics events and also the European Championships (next year).

“We have a global championship every year for the next four years and that will mean working very closely with all our organizing committees.

“The United States is very important for us, to help grow the sport. It’s the largest sports market in the world, and it’s also an opportunity for your athletes to have more competitive outlets and to grow their profile in a very important market."

“We also have Cali (Colombia) Under-20 World Championships, hot on the heels of Oregon 2022, and the following year we are back to the World Under-20 Championships in Lima, Peru."

“This is a great opportunity to make gains not just in US, but in South America too.”

Coe also highlighted the successes of athletics in 2021 saying the sport remains in really good shape, highlighted by both athletes’ performances and commercial success at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“We leave 2021 as a sport in really good shape. We needed to stay focused in order to deliver the championships that we did, and create a platform for the athletes, which we did, and the Tokyo Olympic Games particularly for African athletes was a really important platform… and, my goodness!, they grabbed that platform in a really, really good way!”

“We also maintained, at the same time, all our competitions, and we maintained the work streams that we feel are really important in growing our sport.”

The former Olympic champion and middle distance world record holder noted that WA also revamped their competition calendar and drove further interest in the second tier Continental Tour one-day meeting series.

“I’m very grateful to the Kenyan federation particularly for their help in extending that footprint in Africa for us,” he noted, appreciating the success of the September 18 Kip Keino Classic at Kasarani which was the final stop of the 2021 WA Continental Tour circuit.

“Our strategic partnerships – and these were really important: In broadcast, we extended broadcast arrangements with NBC and, crucially for Africa, with the European Broadcast Union, not just with our broadcast arrangements with Europe, but also extends into Africa and that’s very, very important.

“Both contracts have been secured until 2029 with a healthy uplift.”

Coe mentioned the importance of the World Athletics World Plan, describing it as an important roadmap which will create the pathway for the next years.

“It sets up 19 objectives and 67 different actions. It builds on the four-year strategic plan, whose four pillars are: More people; More participation; More partnership; Broadening fan base.

"The top lines from that will help us, particularly given the global focus driven by Covid-19 around healthy communities is driving kids’ athletics, not only as a way of encouraging more young people into our sport, but also as a way of helping in that drive to make our communities fitter and healthier – as athletics is the most accessible to communities globally.”

(12/15/2021) Views: 906 ⚡AMP
by Elias Makori

Former World Athletics president Lamine Diack has died

The former head of global athletics Lamine Diack, who presided over the sport from 1999 to 2015 but was later convicted for corruption, has died aged 88, his family told AFP.

The Senegalese was head of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), now renamed World Athletics, the world governing body of track and field, the cornerstone of Olympic sport.

Diack, who was also a powerful figure at the International Olympic Committee (IOC), was found guilty of corruption by a French court in 2020 for covering up Russian doping cases in exchange for millions of dollars of bribes.

He was sentenced to four years in prison, of which two were suspended, and fined 500,000 euros ($560,000).

The trial in Paris heard that the money was paid in return for "full protection", to allow Russian athletes who should have been banned to escape punishment.

Twenty-three Russian athletes had their doping offences hushed up so they could compete at the 2012 London Olympics and 2013 world championships in Moscow.

Because of his age, Diack, a former long jumper, football coach and then businessman and politician who was decorated in the Kremlin in late 2011, was spared jail.

His son Papa Massata Diack, a former marketing executive for the IAAF, was tried in absentia because Senegal refused to extradite him. He was sentenced to five years in prison, fined one million euros and banned from all sport for 10 years.

- Olympic figure -

Lamine Diack, a member of the IOC from 1999 to 2013 and then an honorary member from 2014-15, was embroiled in another corruption affair linked to the awarding of the 2016 Rio Olympics and the Tokyo Olympics, that were postponed because of the pandemic but took place this year.

Despite not being jailed over the Russian corruption, he was held in France because of his indictment in the case involving suspected Olympic vote-buying. His passport had been confiscated.

But a judge soon lifted the ban on Diack leaving France, provided he paid a bond and that he continued to respond to summonses.

Senegalese Premier League side Jaraaf de Dakar, where Diack was club president, said it had sold part of its headquarters property to pay the bail.

Diack was replaced by Britain's Sebastian Coe in August 2015 as head of world athletics. The disgraced Senegalese had resigned from the IOC in the same year.

Coe had been one of Diack's vice-presidents at the then-IAAF between 2011 and 2014.

Born in Dakar on June 7, 1933, Diack started his sporting career as a long jumper, winning the French athletics championships title in 1958. A knee injury prevented him from competing in the 1960 Olympics, however.

He was also a footballer and was technical director of Senegal's national team from 1966 to 1969.

Diack also became head of Senegal's Olympic Committee, mayor of Dakar, a lawmaker and was head of the West African country's national water company before becoming the first non-European to take over as head of the IAAF following the sudden death of its previous president Primo Nebiolo.

The African power-broker said he had played a key role in globalising athletics and his time at the top certainly coincided with a huge boom in its revenues.

Diack was in charge as the sport grew and developed beyond its European and North American core.

He oversaw its move from amateur to professional status, ensured complete equality in events and prize money for men and women, and established international competition circuits for athletes in all the disciplines.

But the Senegalese had previous brushes with scandal before the most recent charges.

Diack and Issa Hayatou, acting FIFA president for four months in wake of the 2015 corruption case against Sepp Blatter, both received warnings from the IOC in 2011 over cash payments they received from International Sport and Leisure (ISL), a marketing company whose collapse caused a major scandal for football's governing body.

(12/04/2021) Views: 1,031 ⚡AMP
by AFP

Olympic champs Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica and Karsten Warholm of Norway have been named the World Athletes of the Year at the World Athletics Awards 2021

Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica and Karsten Warholm of Norway have been named the World Athletes of the Year at the World Athletics Awards 2021, a ceremony held virtually on Wednesday (1).

Thompson-Herah produced one of the finest sprint seasons in history this year, retaining her Olympic 100m and 200m titles in Tokyo and adding a third gold medal in the 4x100m relay. On top of her Olympic triple, she also clocked world-leading times of 10.54 and 21.53 over 100m and 200m respectively, moving to second on the world all-time lists and coming within touching distance of the long-standing world records.

“I just take it year by year,” said Thompson-Herah. “I went very close to the world record so you know, anything is possible. No spikes hanging up any time soon!

“The World Championships in Oregon is most definitely my next big target,” she added. “It is close to home, I hope friends and family can come out and watch. I hope I get some crowd as well. That couldn’t happen in Tokyo but hopefully in Eugene I can get my friends and family to come and cheer me on.”

Warholm uncorked one of the most remarkable performances in athletics history when he stormed to gold in the 400m hurdles at the Tokyo Olympics. Having already broken the world record with 46.70 in Oslo in the lead-up to the Games, Warholm exceeded all expectations in the Japanese capital to claim gold in a stunning world record of 45.94. In a race of incredible depth, the top three athletes finished inside the pre-2021 world record.

“I’m so happy for this,” said Warholm. “First when I saw the time (in Tokyo), I was like, ‘This must be a mistake!’ Because I didn’t see that one coming. And I didn’t see the victory coming before crossing the finish line.

“It was a very intense race, I knew the American and the Brazilian and all the other guys were really chasing me. I always go out hard and I never know what is going on behind me. I was just fighting all the way to the finish line. When I realised 45.94 was the reality, I was thinking: ‘This is not too bad. I’ll take it!’"

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe congratulated all of tonight’s winners and finalists on their extraordinary achievements this year.

"We have this year celebrated some jaw-dropping performances in Tokyo, at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi and through our one-day meeting circuits – the Wanda Diamond League and the Continental Tour. So we’re delighted to recognise some of our stars at tonight’s awards.

"As a sport, we are in an incredibly strong position. 2021 has been an excellent year. We cemented our position as the number 1 Olympic sport coming out of Tokyo, we have the most God given talented athletes on the planet and our sport is the most accessible of all sports. Thank you to all our athletes around the world. I am looking forward to watching what you can all do in 2022."

The other award winners were:

Female Rising Star

Athing Mu

The US teenager was undefeated at 800m all year, winning Olympic gold at the distance following a long but successful collegiate season. She broke the senior US 800m record with her triumph in Tokyo and then improved it to 1:55.04 just a few weeks later. She also excelled at 400m, clocking a North American U20 record of 49.57 for the distance.

“It means the world to know that my support goes beyond friends and families and extends worldwide,” said Mu. “This award shows all young girls that your dreams can, indeed, come true."

Male Rising Star

Erriyon Knighton

Throughout 2021 the 17-year-old took down several marks that had belonged to sprint legend Usain Bolt. Knighton first set world U18 bests of 20.11 and 20.04 over 200m, but his rapid rise continued and he broke Bolt’s world U20 record for the distance with 19.88 and 19.84. He went on to finish fourth in the Olympic final with 19.93.

“I’m really thankful for this award,” said Knighton. “One of my most memorable moments of this year was making it to the Olympic final in Tokyo and finishing fourth at the age of 17.”

Member Federations Award

Federacion Costarricense de Atletismo (Costa Rica)

In recognition for their outstanding training, competition and development programme roll-out over the past 12 months, for their consultative work on the World Athletics Kids’ Athletics programme, and for successfully staging a host of international events over the past year.

Inspiration Award

Mutaz Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi

The shared high jump victory between Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi became one of the biggest talking points of the Olympic Games – not only for everything it represented in their own individual careers, having both battled serious injuries since the last Games, but mainly for the act of respect and sportsmanship between two friends.

“It is just crazy if I think about this story,” said Tamberi. “Thank you very much for this trophy.

“I now call Mutaz like five times a week because I need to speak with him. I feel that now we are not just friends, we are really like blood brothers.”

Barshim added: “I hope to inspire more people to love our sport and maybe share a gold one day!”

President’s Award

Peter Diamond, Executive Vice President of NBC Olympic programming

“Athletics owes Peter a massive debt of gratitude,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe. “Peter has worked alongside us for effectively 40 years and has been a constant source of great advice and wise counsel, and occasional humour that has softened the edges of any particular situation. And he has made athletics a lot better.”

Coaching Achievement Award

Bobby Kersee

The US coach has guided the careers of many legendary athletes over the years, but this year two of his charges made history. Allyson Felix became the most decorated female track and field Olympian in history after winning her 10th and 11th Olympic gold medals in Tokyo, while training partner Sydney McLaughlin broke two world records in the 400m hurdles and claimed Olympic gold in the discipline.

Woman of the Year Award

Anju Bobby George

The former international long jump star from India is still actively involved in the sport. In 2016 she opened a training academy for young girls, which has already helped to produce a world U20 medallist. A constant voice for gender equality in her role as Senior Vice President of the Indian Athletics Federation, Bobby George also mentors schoolgirls for future leadership positions within the sport.

Jean-Pierre Durand World Athletics Photograph of the Year

Ryan Pierse’s photograph of the women’s high jump qualifying at the Tokyo Olympic Games

This year’s award is dedicated to the memory of Jean-Pierre Durand, one of the sport’s most prolific photographers and photo chief for a number of World Athletics Series events, who died in October.

“This winning image was taken on one of the morning sessions in Tokyo and it was a hot one,” said Pierse, who is from Australia. “I wanted to illustrate the heat and how it was affecting the athletes. It is a picture that I worked on for a while, and it all came together. I am really happy with it.

“I think it’s incredibly fitting that this award is named in memory of Jean-Pierre Durand,” added Pierse. “I had the pleasure of working alongside him, most recently at the Tokyo Olympics.”

(12/01/2021) Views: 945 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics

Jamaican Usain Bolt thinks he could have won 100m gold at Tokyo Olympics

Sprint legend Usain Bolt said he could have emerged from retirement to win a fourth straight Olympic 100m title in Tokyo this year, insisting the winning time was within his reach.

Bolt, 35, told AFP that it was frustrating to watch the delayed 2020 Games from his home in Jamaica as his male countrymen flopped and Italy's Lamont Jacobs claimed a shock victory.

"I really missed it. I was like, I wish I was there," he said in an interview at the Dubai offices of his sponsor PepsiCo on Sunday.

"Because for me, I live for those moments. So it was hard to watch."

Bolt dominated sprinting for a generation, winning eight Olympic gold medals and only losing a ninth when his 2008 4x100m relay team-mate Nesta Carter failed a retrospective drugs test.

The first Olympic 100m final since the great showman's departure was a subdued affair, with Jacobs clocking 9.80sec at a Covid-emptied Tokyo National Stadium.

"My coach said something to me at the end of my career. He said, 'People are not getting faster. I was getting slower.' I never looked at it that way," said Bolt.

"And it's the facts because a lot of guys don't really get faster. Because I have pushed the barrier so far and then I started going backwards time-wise, so for me 9.80 was possible to get done."

But Bolt, who has dabbled in football and music since retiring, said it was "all about motivation" when he was considering a potential comeback in Tokyo.

"For the Olympics, it was gonna be different," said the father of three.

"I always show up ready because I think this is the highest level, but I've already done everything in the sport so it was all about motivation."

'Lightning Bolt' loses sparkle

With a rueful shake of the head, Bolt said it was "not looking good" for Jamaica's men's sprinters after they failed to reach the Tokyo 100m final and were fifth in the 4x100m relay.

And he said none of the current athletes looked capable of beating his 100m and 200m world records of 9.58 and 19.19, rarely threatened since he set them in 2009.

"I don't think I've seen anybody in this generation right now which I personally feel will break the records," he said.

"So I think I have a couple more years before somebody will actually break my world records."

Bolt, instantly recognisable worldwide, said he'd "love" to help World Athletics promote the sport and had approached its leader, Sebastian Coe, about a formal role.

But he said he had no designs on the presidency.

"No, I don't want that job. That's a lot of stress and a lot of work," he said.

He added that he would "definitely" have taken the knee to protest against racism on the Tokyo podium, where it was banned under International Olympic Committee rules.

"I understand what it's about. Racism, we've been through it so I understand the necessary aspect of it and what is needed," he said.

But he revealed that after years of striking the 'Lightning Bolt', his signature pose was beginning to grate.

"Sometimes it gets a little bit, I wouldn't say annoying. But I understand that I've done it to myself," he said with a chuckle.

"People really enjoy it and it's for the fans, you know. I mean, it's a picture that they will treasure forever.

"So for me, I'm not always happy doing it, but I do it anyways because it's for them and it makes them happy."

(11/16/2021) Views: 796 ⚡AMP
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. ...


World Athletics announces Safeguarding Policy

World Athletics today (10) launches its Safeguarding Policy, which is designed to ensure that those in positions of authority in athletics adopt practices that actively prevent harassment, abuse and exploitation within the sport.

The new policy aims to create a safe and welcoming environment at all levels of the sport, where everyone involved is respected, valued and protected.

This policy is founded on the principles that everyone has the right to participate and enjoy athletics in a safe inclusive environment, that everyone has the right to have their voice heard in raising welfare and behavioural issues, and that everyone involved in planning and delivering programmes for children is responsible for the care and protection of those children.

It defines the specific roles and responsibilities of Member Federations, Area Associations and World Athletics in protecting athletes and other participants in our sport.

These responsibilities include:

- Implementing and embedding this policy- Raising awareness of harassment, abuse and exploitation- Developing and delivering education and training for all those involved in athletics- Supporting victims of abuse, harassment and exploitation- Vetting and recruiting staff and volunteers in line with ethical practices- Responding to concerns raised- Reporting concerns expeditiously- Establishing partnerships with organisations and institutions in the safeguarding sector

This policy describes the procedures to be followed if harassment, abuse or exploitation occurs and sets out processes for victims to be supported.

World Athletics, its Area Associations and Member Federations will work together to implement the policy, working closely with the World Athletics Athletes’ Commission.

World Athletics will promote best practice throughout the athletics community by providing safeguarding resources and guidance to Area Associations and Member Federations, and will provide its workforce with education and training in safeguarding. Consultation on the development of these resources and guidelines is currently under way with stakeholders across the sport.

World Athletics will also review its reporting and disciplinary procedures for any alleged incidents of abuse, harassment and exploitation that fall within its jurisdiction.

Area Associations and Member Federations are asked to adopt and implement a safeguarding policy which follows both local legislation and the World Athletics policy by 2023. This policy needs to include the procedures to follow when a concern is reported, as well as investigative and disciplinary processes.

These organizations must inform the relevant public authorities, where this is required by legislation. Their workforces should be regularly trained in all aspects of safeguarding to ensure they can provide support and advice to their athletics communities.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said it was important for the sport to have strong safeguarding procedures in place, from grassroots to elite level around the globe, to protect all participants.

"Athletics clubs, schools and community sports environments should be safe and happy places for those in our sport," Coe said.

"A written policy gives our participants confidence that there are consistent structures and processes in place to report safeguarding abuses and that we will listen and we will act. But the policy is just the start. It must be implemented, monitored and developed at all levels in our sport and we will make that a priority as we move forward."

The Safeguarding Policy has been published on the World Athletics website today.

(11/10/2021) Views: 820 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics

Markus Ryffel donates 1984 Olympic shoes to Heritage Collection

Markus Ryffel has generously donated to the World Athletics Heritage Collection one of the running spikes he wore when earning the 5000m silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games.

The Swiss distance runner donated his left shoe to the collection in June and it is now on permanent view in glorious 360Ëš 3D in the Olympic Athletics Collection room of the Museum of World Athletics (MOWA), the world’s first virtual sports museum.

This evening at the Weltklasse Zürich Heritage Night, Ryffel was able to officially hand over the spike in person to his friend and racing contemporary, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, who won his second 1500m title in Los Angeles in 1984.

Still the Swiss 5000m record

The final day of the 1984 Olympic athletics programme was hot and damp. The Swiss spectators among the 90,000 crowd in the Memorial Coliseum started to sweat even more as Ryffel geared up for his final sprint, 300 metres from the finish line of the 5000m final.

Portugal’s Antonio Leitao, pre-race favourite Said Aouita of Morocco, and Ryffel were neck and neck in lanes one, two and three. For a moment, even a Swiss Olympic victory seemed possible.

Aouita, however, showed himself unimpressed by Ryffel’s efforts and ran the last 400m in an unheard-of 54.7 seconds. He became the victor of a memorable race: then the third-best time in history for the Moroccan (13:05.59), with fifth place on the world all-time list for Ryffel.

Ryffel’s 13:07.54 still stands as the Swiss record 37 years later. Aouita’s Olympic record was only improved in Beijing in 2008 by Kenenisa Bekele.

Calf injury

While Aouita became the first man to run 5000m within 13 minutes in Rome, 11 months after his triumph in Los Angeles, for Ryffel the silver medal from Los Angeles remained the highlight of an illustrious career.

At the European Championships two years later, he was in a promising position but had to withdraw with an injury, which ended up requiring surgery. His calf muscles – including varicose veins inherited from his father – also thwarted his efforts at his last great aim, the marathon. He made several attempts at completing races, but time and again he had to give up some time after 30 kilometres with calf pain. He never made it to a fourth Olympics and retired from elite sport in late 1991.

New York comes to Uster

Ryffel was by no means bitter; quite the contrary. He had planned ahead during his active years. As a young man he had been a fan of Frank Shorter, the 1972 Olympic marathon champion. So it was not surprising that, aged 22, he accompanied his older brother Urs, himself a fairly successful cyclist, to the 1977 New York Marathon. He finished 16th, just ahead of four-time Olympic champion Lasse Viren.

Both of them were impressed by the “amazing atmosphere” of this mass event.

“We wanted to start something similar in our home-town Uster,” said Ryffel. And so, they established the race around the idyllic Greifensee near Zürich which has been running since 1980, initially 19km long, and over the half marathon distance since 1992. In 1998, Uster even hosted the World Half Marathon Championships, where Paul Koech and Tegla Loroupe from Kenya were the winners.

Running weeks

By the end of the 1970s, Ryffel began organising running weeks in St Moritz and trips to the New York Marathon, alongside his friends and training partners Dietmar Millonig of Austria and Thomas Wessinghage of West Germany.

The trio of runners still work together. Although the goal of the original ‘running weeks’ was to help participants achieve a 3:30 marathon time, the events have now morphed into more general running and fitness holidays in St Moritz and other alpine destinations.

Around the same time, Ryffel opened his first Ryffel Running Shop in Bern together with his brother Urs and business partner Markus Bill. A second shop in Uster followed shortly after, and the business later employed up to 28 people.

“It started in a cow shed next to my parents’ restaurant,” remembers Ryffel. He has since sold the shops to a larger company, and now organises running events, active holidays, trips to marathon races and private coaching.

‘The bike really shaped me’

Ryffel learned early that it was important to be decisive and work hard towards one’s aims. “My parents had a restaurant and a butcher shop, and we had a delivery service. Without it, I would never have become such a good runner. The kilometres on the bike really shaped me because the heart does not distinguish between cycling and running.

“Even in primary school, I did 20 or 30 km on my bike,” he added. “I had my 17 customers to whom I delivered cordon bleu and other meats.”

Ryffel’s parents, however, were not supportive of their son’s sporting ambitions at first. So it was lucky that Ryffel moved to Bern for an apprenticeship in typesetting, where he could be near his supporter and coach Heinz Schild. There he started running in the uniform of the City of Bern gymnastics club.

Ryffel is now 66. He still runs and has calculated from his paper training log that he jogged his 200,000th kilometre in 2020. That’s five times around the earth.

“I can still run regularly – and, most importantly, without pain,” he said. “And if all goes well, I will be running my 98th marathon in Chicago this year.” Because of Covid, the usual group trip to New York cannot happen, and Ryffel wants to participate in this marathon with a group aiming at a 4:30 finish time.

Times have changed. “Just being there is everything now,” he says.

(09/09/2021) Views: 837 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has paid tribute to former International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge, who has died aged 79

Jacques Rogge served as the eighth President of the IOC, from 2001 to 2013, and competed for Belgium in sailing at three editions of the Olympic Games, in 1968, 1972 and 1976.

In 2005 he announced the awarding of the 2012 Games to London, with Coe having led the UK capital city’s bid.

Rogge, who was an orthopaedic surgeon with a degree in sports medicine, was married to Anne, and leaves a son, a daughter and two grandchildren.

“I am beyond sad to hear the news of Jacques’ passing,” Coe said. “I wrote to Jacques and Anne two weeks ago to tell them that all of us at World Athletics missed them at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. I said it wasn’t the same being in the Olympic stadium watching athletics without them.

“I have a mountainous gratitude for his part in the seamless delivery of London 2012. No Organising Committee could have asked or received more. He was passionate about sport and all he achieved in sport and beyond was done with common decency, compassion and a level head. We will all miss him.”

After his career as an athlete, which included becoming a Belgian rugby international, Rogge became President of the Belgian and European Olympic Committees, and was elected President of the IOC in 2001. After his IOC Presidency, he also served as a Special Envoy for Youth, Refugees and Sport to the United Nations.

“First and foremost, Jacques loved sport and being with athletes - and he transmitted this passion to everyone who knew him. His joy in sport was infectious,” said Thomas Bach, who succeeded Rogge as IOC President in 2013.

“He was an accomplished President, helping to modernise and transform the IOC. He will be remembered particularly for championing youth sport and for inaugurating the Youth Olympic Games. He was also a fierce proponent of clean sport, and fought tirelessly against the evils of doping.

“The entire Olympic Movement will deeply mourn the loss of a great friend and a passionate fan of sport.”

In a post on Twitter, World Athletics Senior Vice-President Sergey Bubka said: “Deeply mourn the loss of a wonderful personality, true friend and great leader, IOC Honorary President Jacques Rogge.

“Dedicating his life to the Olympic Movement, he was very special in his human attitude towards others, incredible love for athletes and understanding of the youth.”

Among others to pay tribute to Rogge was Moroccan middle distance great Hicham El Guerrouj, who wrote: “With a heavy heart, I pray for the eternal repose of Jacques Rogge, the former president of the IOC. RIP.”

(08/30/2021) Views: 804 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics

Ban on cannabis, should be reviewed says World Athletics president Seb Coe

The rules on the use of cannabis by athletes should be reviewed, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has said in the wake of the case that meant Sha'Carri Richardson, winner of the women’s 100 meters at the US Olympic trials, missing Tokyo 2020.

Richardson accepted a 30-day ban, and the qualifying results she achieved were annulled, after she tested positive for the banned recreational drug during the trials.

The 21-year-old said she had been under emotional stress after learning of the recent death of her biological mother.

In response to questions on the issue, Coe has said a review is now sensible and "it should be" done, Reuters reports.

Coe added: "I am sorry for her that we have lost an outstanding talent [from the Olympic Games]", but said that existing rules were interpreted correctly.

The World Athletics President said he had asked the independent Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) to work with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on reassessing marijuana’s place on the prohibited list.

Coe, who believes the matter is a question for experts at the AIU and the WADA to determine, said Richardson’s absence was "a loss to the competition" but predicted "she will bounce back".

The 2021 World Anti-Doping Code classifies tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis, marijuana, and hashish, as a "Substance of Abuse".

Athletes found to use it outside of competition face a three-month ban, although in this case the United States Anti-Doping Agency banned Richardson for 30 days as long as she also undertook a treatment programme.

Discussion on this matter is not expected to take place during the World Athletics Council’s two-day meeting that starts tomorrow before the Olympic track and field programme begins on Friday (July 30) - at least officially.

What will be under consideration is a determination of the hosts for the 2023 World Athletics Relays, held this year in Poland, the newly-established 2023 World Road Running Championships, and next year’s World Race Walking Team Championships, where a replacement is being sought for original host Minsk.

World Athletics cited "uncertainties around diplomatic relations and international travel restrictions with regard to Belarus" when stripping Minsk of hosting rights earlier this year, with protests continuing after the controversial re-election Alexander Lukashenko as the country’s President last August and many nations imposing sanctions on Belarus.

There will also be a report from World Athletics' Russia Taskforce at the Council meeting.

Day two of the meeting is understood to involve commission and working group reports.

(07/27/2021) Views: 885 ⚡AMP
by Mike Rowbottom

Record-holding British medal Oliver Dustin hope could be banned from Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after cocaine is found in in-competition sample

A top British runner who broke a record held by World Athletics boss and two-time Olympic champ Sebastian Coe last month has reportedly provided a drugs test sample containing small traces of cocaine, threatening his Tokyo place.

Briefly the holder of the world-leading outdoor 800m time for the year after breaking Coe's record for under-23s, Oliver Dustin booked his place on the British team for Tokyo 2020 with another impressive run in Manchester less than three weeks ago.

The 20-year-old has not raced since and has consulted lawyers after returning an adverse analytical finding for traces of a cocaine metabolite following an in-competition test in France, according to The Times.

French anti-doping authorities are said to be managing the matter, with a claim that the sample has been contaminated one of the options open to Dustin in what would be a long process, the report said.

Dustin could still compete at the olympics at the Olympics if he accepts responsibility, can prove the cocaine was ingested out of competition and was then ordered to serve a one-month ban while agreeing to take an education course.

The latest World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules say: “If the athlete can establish that any ingestion or use occurred out-of-competition and was unrelated to sport performance, then the period of ineligibility shall be three months' ineligibility.

“In addition, the period of ineligibility calculated... may be reduced to one month if the athlete or other person satisfactorily completes a Substance of Abuse treatment program approved by the Anti-Doping Organization with Results Management responsibility.”

America's top female sprinter, Sha’Carri Richardson, received a four-week ban earlier this month after testing positive for cannabis, keeping her out of the Olympics because her positive test emerged after she won her country's trials over 100m.

The Times said that UK Athletics had declined to comment, while Dustin’s agent, Stephen Haas, described the news of a positive test as “not factual at this point” and offered no further comment.

Writing after securing his place at the Olympics with a second-placed finish after a thriller in Manchester, the European Athletics U20 Championships gold medalist in 2019 told his thousands of social media followers: "See you in Tokyo.

(07/15/2021) Views: 627 ⚡AMP
by Olympics

World Athletics commits an extra US$1million prize money for athletes at World Athletics Championships

World Athletics today announced it was substantially increasing the prize money for athletes at its flagship world championships, starting with the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 next year.

US$2 million has been ringfenced from the fines paid by the Russian Athletics Federation for breaching the sport’s anti-doping rules, to go directly to athletes in the form of prize money at the WCH Oregon22 and at the WCH Budapest 23.

Speaking from the US Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “The last 18 months have been really tough for thousands of athletes who make their living from competing in events around the world. While we have focused on helping meetings around the world stage as many events as possible over this period – more than 600 events – we know many athletes had a very lean year last year and are still experiencing challenges this year.

“Last year we also set up an athlete fund, supported by some generous donations, to provide some financial relief to those athletes most in need. 193 athletes from 58 countries were granted up to US$3000 to go towards basic living costs such as food, accommodation and training expenses.”

World Athletics will fund the additional $1million per World Championships for the next two editions, with each of the 44 individual events receiving an additional US$23,000 of prize money at each championship.

At the most recent World Championships in Doha in 2019, US$7,530,000 in prize money was distributed to athletes who finished in the top eight of an event.

While the intention is to see the new funds go to as many athletes as possible in leading positions, the Athletes’ Commission and Competition Commission will make a recommendation to the World Athletics Council on how the funds will be allocated. The additional US$1 million in prize money will form part of the host city contract from 2025 onwards.

(06/21/2021) Views: 991 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics

Ron Hill turned the art of marathon running into a science and wrote the playbook for generations to come wrote Seb Coe

A tribute to Ron Hill. World Athletics is deeply saddened to hear that Britain’s Ron Hill, the 1969 European marathon champion, died on Sunday May 23 at the age of 82.

Aside from his major championship medals and four world records, Hill is best known for his dedication to athletics. He laid claim to the longest unbroken streak of running every day, a stretch that lasted 52 years and 39 days, from 1964 to 2017.

Born in Accrington in the north-west of England in September 1938, Hill first came to prominence in the early 1960s and made his international debut at the 1962 European Championships in Belgrade. He failed to finish the marathon there, however, and fared only slightly better at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, finishing a distant 18th in the 10,000m and 19th in the marathon.

Hill rebounded one year later, though, and set the first world record of his career. Competing at the Leverhulme Park track in Bolton, Hill broke two of Emil Zatopek’s long-standing world records in one fell swoop, clocking 1:15:22.6 for 25,000m and passing through 15 miles en route in 1:12:48.2.

His championship performances started to improve in the late 1960s as he placed 12th in the marathon at the 1966 European Championships and seventh in the 10,000m at the 1968 Olympics, having been controversially overlooked for a place on the marathon team.

He set two more world records in 1968, both at 10 miles. In April he clocked 47:02.2 in Leicester to break Ron Clark’s record, passing through 10,000m in 29:09.4 and 15,000m in 43:54, an unofficial world best time.

Later that year, one month after his Olympic appearance, Hill attempted to break Gaston Roelants’ one hour world record of 20,784m. He fell slightly short of that target, covering 20,471m, but passed through 10 miles in a world record time of 46:44.0.

Though that was to be the last world record of his career, Hill became a big-time performer from that point onwards, winning big city marathons and landing major medals.

He won the European marathon title in Athens in 1969, then in 1970 he became the first British runner to win the Boston Marathon, smashing the course record by three minutes with 2:10:30. A few months later, at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, he came the second man to break the 2:10 barrier for the marathon, winning gold in a European record of 2:09:28, having covered the final 10km in 29:24 (2:04 marathon pace).

He went on to take bronze in the marathon at the 1971 European Championships before making his final Olympic appearance in 1972, placing sixth in the marathon – his highest ever finish at the Games.

Hill continued to produce world-class marathon times through the 1970s, including a 2:12:35 victory at the Debno Marathon in 1975 at the age of 36, ranking him eighth in the world that year. He finished fourth at the 1976 Olympic Trials, but went on to represent Britain at various masters championships.

Hill was ahead of his time with regards to training and he was one of the first elite athletes to use the Saltin-Hermansson diet – better known as the glycogen depletion diet or ‘carb-loading’ – which he credited as playing a big part in his success at the 1969 European Championships. Ever since, it has been adopted by millions of runners as a key part of marathon preparation.

Hill, who had a PhD in textile chemistry, often raced in breathable mesh vests to help keep cool. Towards the end of his elite career, he founded Ron Hill Sports and produced top-of-the-line running clothes. He also created the Ronhill and Hilly brands, both of which are still going strong today.

Hill’s streak of consecutive daily runs – which he defined as completing a distance of at least one mile at any pace – began on 20 December 1964 and lasted for more than 52 years. He even managed workouts after a car crash in 1993 when he broke his sternum, and after bunion surgery.

In December 2013 when his streak entered its 50th year, Hill’s total logged lifetime mileage stood at 158,628 miles. His streak ended on 30 January 2017 when he experienced chest pains during a run.

“I did everything I could to be the best in the world,” he said in 2019 in an interview with Inside The Games. “I couldn't train full-time, couldn't train at altitude, couldn't afford back-up support – I only ever had two massages in my life – and when I was injured I just had to run through it. I never made any money at it, but you can't take away the gold medals.”

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe paid tribute to Hill.

"Ron Hill turned the art of marathon running into a science and wrote the playbook for generations to come," said Coe. "He was a one-off. His contribution to the classic distance is immense."

(06/18/2021) Views: 948 ⚡AMP
by Sebastian Coe (World Athletics)

Sebastian Coe's monumental 800 meters

June 10, 1981 remains a red-letter day in the long history of 800m running, for it was in Florence late that night that Sebastian Coe lowered his own world record from 1:42.33 to 1:41.73. Every world record is special, marking as it does an advance on anything previously achieved, but Coe's run was extra-special. That time would not be bettered for 16 long years, itself a record in the annals of the men's 800m event.

When strongly-built Alberto Juantorena won the 1976 Olympic title in a world record 1:43.50 it was widely thought that here was the man to revolutionize two-lap running. And yet, for all his speed (44.26 400m) and power, the Cuban succeeded only in clipping another few hundredths off the record with 1:43.44 at the 1977 Universiade. Instead it was the slight figure of Coe who has gone down in history as the athlete who, like Germany's Rudolf Harbig in 1939 and New Zealand's Peter Snell in 1962, pushed back the frontiers of 800m performance.

It was in 1979 that Britain's Coe established himself as one of the all-time greats of middle distance running when in the space of 41 days he shattered three world records. He started with 1:42.33 in Oslo on July 5, and was as shocked as everyone else by his time. After clocking his fastest 400m of 46.87 at the AAA Championships he returned to Oslo for the star-studded Dubai Golden Mile on July 17. Despite being practically a novice at the distance with a best time of 3:57.67, he moved into the lead shortly before the three-quarter mark (2:53.4) and then proceeded to cover the final quarter in 55.6. He had run 3:48.95, again astonished when told he had broken New Zealander John Walker's world record of 3:49.4. As he related later: "When I looked back twice in the final straight it was fear, it was panic, not pain, that I was feeling. I certainly wasn't in the slightest distress at the finish."

Record number three came about in Zurich on  August 15. The target this time was the 3:32.16 1500m by Tanzania's Filbert Bayi. Elated by the knowledge that he had never been faster, having been timed at 45.5 for a 400m relay leg 10 days earlier, Coe shot off at a potentially suicidal pace by clinging to the pacemaker, sweeping through the opening 200m in 25.9 and 400m in 54.3. Before 800m (1:53.19) had been covered, Coe was on his own, nearly 20m ahead of the field. Instead of easing back on the third lap he covered that in 56.3 for 2:49.5 at 1200m and at the finish – almost five seconds clear – his time was a hard earned 3:32.03.

Coe's athletic immortality was sealed in 1980 when he triumphed in the Olympic 1500m in Moscow to make up for his 'disastrous' run in the 800m (a mere silver medal behind Steve Ovett) after adding to his portfolio of world records by covering 1000m in 2:13.40 in his first ever race at the distance.

And so to 1981. With no major title to aim for, the emphasis was on achieving spectacular 'one-off' performances. Asked how he had prepared during the winter, Coe replied: "My training mileage is slightly down but there's been more accent on speedwork. I'm going back to basics, trying to improve my 400m speed." That approach hadn't diminished his endurance, though, for he opened his indoor season by winning the UK 3000m title in a personal best of 7:55.2. Two weeks later he smashed the world indoor 800m record with 1:46.0. "I knew I was fit, but not that fit," he enthused.

A 46.9 400m and 46.3 relay leg on May 4 confirmed his speed was at a high level, and before his fateful appearance in Florence he won the Yorkshire county 800m title on May 17, in 1:46.5, an invitation 800m at Crystal Palace on  June 3, in 1:44.06 followed two hours later with a 45.8 relay split from virtually a standing start, and as a final tune-up a 46.6 relay leg at Gateshead on 7 June. He traveled to Florence not expecting anything too special ... around 1:43/1:44.

His 800m race in Florence got under way after 11pm. Kenya's 19-year-old Billy Konchellah, then a 45.38 400m performer who would go on to become world 800m champion in 1987 and 1991, acted as pacemaker. In his slipstream Coe reached 200m in 24.5 and 400m in 49.7 and was perfectly set up for a super-fast time. Sensing Konchellah was about to flag, Coe forged ahead by 450m and after 200m splits of 24.5 and 25.2 he covered the next half-lap in a daring 25.3 for a remarkable 600m time of 1:15.0 – precisely 1:40 pace for the full distance. Inevitably he slowed towards the end but still managed a final 200m of a little under 26.7.

Coe's immediate post-race response: "I'm very happy about the result, but it was terrible waiting the 10 minutes for the official result. It's getting under 1:42 that is the great thing for me. It was as hard a race as I have run for a long time. In the last 30 meters I was beginning to tie up but apart from that there was no problem."

Coe went through that 1981 season undefeated, collecting further world records at 1000m (2:12.18) and mile (3:48.53 and 3:47.33). Other glittering performances would follow, notably a second Olympic 1500m triumph in 1984, but as a testimony to the quality of that 800m exploit in Florence note that even now, 40 years on, only two men have gone faster: David Rudisha of Kenya and Wilson Kipketer of Denmark.

(06/15/2021) Views: 817 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe expects Tokyo Olympics to go ahead after test event in Japan

The World Athletics president, Sebastian Coe, says he understands the nervousness in Japan over hosting an Olympics during a pandemic – but believes the Games will go ahead safely after attending a half marathon test event in Sapporo on Wednesday.

Japan is battling a resurgence in coronavirus infections and opinion polls consistently find the majority of the public is opposed to the Games, which are due to open on 23 July.

Those concerns have been exacerbated by a slow vaccine rollout, with much of the country also under a state of emergency, and Coe said he recognised that many Japanese people had concerns.

“We take that nervousness very, very seriously,” he said. “We have Covid protocols that have been tried and tested, and I’ve witnessed them here. We take very seriously the health and wellbeing of local communities.”

“But the challenges are big. I don’t believe any Olympic Games has been delivered under more difficult circumstances. These Games have an overlay of complexity that is beyond most comprehension.”

There was a muted atmosphere during the test event as security guards stood with signs around their necks asking people to “please refrain from watching the race” to prevent infections.

However, a few onlookers ignored their pleas and clapped as Kenya’s Hillary Kipkoech won the men’s race in 1hr 46sec and Japan’s Mao Ichiyama won the women’s race in 1hr 8min 28sec.

Tokyo 2020’s deputy executive director of games operations, Yasuo Mori, said no one had tested positive for Covid-19, with the 69 athletes made to stay in hotels with no contact with the public.

Organizers will decide next month whether fans can attend events, but supporters from abroad have already been banned. However, Coe said that even if there were no crowds in stadiums “the Games will still take place and the competition will still be extremely good”.

Coe, who was head of the 2012 London Olympics, said it was “really important that when the world looks to coming out of Covid that it can see optimism.

“ The Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games will be totemic of that optimism and hope going forward. So it is important that the Games are delivered successfully and they’re delivered safely.”

Tokyo is officially spending £11.1bn to hold the Olympics, but some estimates say it is twice that much. The IOC is pushing on with the Games, partly because 73% of its income is from selling broadcast rights.

(05/05/2021) Views: 867 ⚡AMP
by Sean Ingle
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. ...


World Champs timetable for 2022 season

Athletes will find tackling two events more straightforward with a spectator-friendly schedule that attempts to tick many boxes

Doubling up at the World Championships will be easier next year after the organisers in Oregon released their competition timetable for the 2022 event at Hayward Field.

The 100m and 200m, 200m and 400m, 800m and 1500m, 1500m and 5000m, 5000m and 10,000m will all now be possible without athletes having to contest more than one discipline on any given day. Other possible doubles include long jump and triple jump, plus the 20km and 35km race walks – although the race walks fraternity is unhappy the 50km distance has gone.

The 10-day schedule from July 15-24 finishes four days before the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham begin, whereas the European Championships in Munich start on August 15.

Medals will be decided in all evening sessions and some morning sessions too. Hammer throwers and 10,000m runners, for example, will have to start their warm-up early in the day for their finals.

The first day also ends with a 4x400m mixed relay final but there are heats on the same day a few hours earlier.

Another break with tradition will see 1500m finals during the first half of the championships. The blue riband 100m finals, however, are still on the first weekend.

There are no morning sessions from July 19-22, while July 18 looks like a big day for British interest with the climax of the heptathlon, Laura Muir potentially in the women’s 1500m and Dina Asher-Smith opening her 200m campaign. For Katarina Johnson-Thompson, a heptathlon and high jump or long jump double is also possible.

The final individual event of the entire championships will be the decathlon 1500m, which organisers say is in tribute to Oregon’s home-grown Olympic and world decathlon champion Ashton Eaton.

For the first time, the championships will end with the women’s 4x400m, honouring a pledge to greater gender equality that World Athletics made on International Women’s Day last month.

“The design of our world championships timetable is both an art and a science, with a lot of moving parts to fit together,’’ World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said.

“We’ve strived to create every opportunity for our athletes to shine, in the stadium, on the road and on screens around the world, and we’re looking forward to watching them do that in Oregon, as our flagship event is held in the United States for the first time.

“You won’t want to miss it,” added Coe, who frequently tackled the 800m and 1500m double during his competitive days.

(04/23/2021) Views: 775 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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