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Articles tagged #Sebastian Coe
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Less than 300 days to go for Bathurst 2021 Cross Country Athletics World Championships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

World Athletics Cross Country Championships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

World Athletics Cross Country Championships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Must have never had an anti-doping rule violation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Financial impact 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

'No competitions = no prize money'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(04/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Athletics announces protected window for 2020 national championships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Coe says World Athletics Championships could move to 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“But it is still a matter for consideration.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(03/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Russian Athletics Federation was given an unprecedented fine of $10 million for breaking anti-doping rules

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

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

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

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

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

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

(03/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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World Athletics modifies rules governing competition shoes for elite athletes

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

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

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

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

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

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

The sole must be no thicker than 40mm.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back to the beginning

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

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

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

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

(11/16/2019) ⚡AMP
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The name of IAAF will change to World Athletics in October at the conclusion of the World Championships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(09/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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ASICS and the IAAF will extend partnership until 2029

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Poland will host the 2021 IAAF World Relays

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(03/08/2019) ⚡AMP
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IAAF announced it plans to honor some of the most highly accomplished runners in history

The first runners on the list of those to be honored are American sprinter Jesse Owens, Finnish distance runner Paavo Nurmi, Czech distance runner Emil Zatopek, Dutch sprinter and hurdler Fanny Blankers-Koen, British distance runner Emil Voigt, Australian sprinter Betty Cuthbert, Ethiopian marathoner Abebe Bikila, Polish sprinter Irena Szewinska and American Mildred “Babe” Didrickson Zaharias, who won two gold medals in track and field at the 1932 Olympics. IAAF president Sebastian Coe made the announcement in Monaco yesterday.  (12/03/2018) ⚡AMP
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Significant changes and new regulations for 2019 IAAF Label road races to improve the quality of events

Significant changes have been made to the regulations for IAAF Label road races starting in 2019 to improve the quality of events for the athletes who take part and the fans that follow them. An IAAF Label denotes high standards in event organization, full application of the IAAF competition rules, complete support from authorities for the event, a commitment by the organizer to the advancement of the sport, and concrete steps in the global fight against doping. Several changes have been made to the IAAF Label regulations for 2019, including the introduction of a 'Platinum Label', the use of IAAF World Rankings to determine an athlete's Label status, and allowing 5km races to apply for Labels. “This is a milestone for the IAAF and the global road racing community," said IAAF President Sebastian Coe. "It’s a stepping stone towards 2020, when we will have an even more coherent structure of races, with better defined tiers to guide fans and athletes, and with integrity measures that are proportionate to the level of the competition. In 2019 we will be reducing the pool of athletes who hold the coveted 'Gold Label Status' to ensure the highest-earning pros are subject to out-of-competition drug-testing . “I’d like to thank the AIU and Abbott World Marathon Majors for their guidance in this area, and stress that these changes are being introduced in cooperation with race and athlete representatives, who have been very supportive all the way. A more robust regulatory framework for athlete representatives is also in the making.” The 2019 regulations will apply to any road races seeking Label status for 2020. (10/09/2018) ⚡AMP
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Cross-Country is making its debut at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games

The IAAF World Cross Country Championships Aarhus 2019 will take place in 200 days’ time, but Tuesday 11 September marks another important milestone for cross country. In one month from today (October 6-18), the athletics program will get under way at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, where cross-country running will make its debut. Cross-country running last appeared in the Olympic arena back in 1924 at the summer Games in Paris, but it will feature in the Argentinean capital next month in a new and innovative format. As is the case with all individual athletics disciplines at the Youth Olympic Games, there will be two stages to the distances events, in which 48 boys and 48 girls will be entered. In stage one of the 1500m, 3000m and 2000m steeplechase, all athletes will compete in a heat of their individual event. In the second stage of the competition, all athletes from those three events will compete in a cross-country race – one race for boys and one race for girls.  The placings of athletes in each individual event and in the cross-country race will be added to determine the overall final placings with the athlete having the lowest total score being the overall winner. The results of the cross-country race will be adjusted to reflect separate rankings for the 1500m, 3000m and 2000m steeplechase respectively with medals being allocated accordingly in the three individual track disciplines. For example, an athlete placing second in the 3000m and fourth of the 3000m runners in the cross-country race will receive a final score of six points. “It has long been our desire to see cross country running back in the Olympic Games,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe. “We see the inclusion of cross country in the program for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires as the first step towards its return to the main program of the Olympic Games." "Cross country is the endurance bedrock on which all middle and long distance running is based and we believe it deserves this recognition,” Coe added. (09/11/2018) ⚡AMP
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IAAF releases the biggest ever biomechanics study for Track and Field

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) today released the results of, what they claim, is the largest biomechanical study in the sport’s history. Almost everything that moved in the Olympic Stadium at last year’s IAAF World Championships was recorded by 49 high-speed cameras and has now been measured and analyzed as part of the study.  "Biomechanics are crucial to the development of athletes where milliseconds and millimeters can make the difference between qualifying for a final, or not, and winning a medal, or not," says IAAF President Sebastian Coe. Among the highlights of the research was that on the steeplechase, which was recorded in detail for the first time. It is claimed the outstanding technique of American athletes Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase clearly showed that medals were won and lost in the water. The research showed in detail that the United States team’s effective water jump clearance techniques were key to their performances.  The data captured on women's 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, meanwhile, shows a difference of up to 20 centimeters between the length of her strides from right to left - her right to left is longer than left to right. While it is hoped the reports will provide useful insight for coaches and athletes, it is anticipated they will also help the sport innovate by providing new data and graphics that can be shared with the media and fans around the world. (07/15/2018) ⚡AMP
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Mo Farah says it was nice running alongside club runners at London 10,000m

Great Britain’s Olympic legend Sir Mo Farah won the biggest ever Vitality London 10,000 today, while Steph Twell took her first victory in the women’s race. Farah treated the enthusiastic London crowds, who had turned out in the thousands to watch the race.  Mo outsprinted young British runners Richard Allen (29:48) and Matthew Sharp (29:50) in the final 500m to take his sixth Vitality London 10,000 victory, and the British road 10k title, on his first appearance at the race since 2013. Twell also dominated in the women’s race, finishing in 32:34, almost half a minute ahead of Gemma Steel (33:00), while 2017 champion Jo Pavey completed the podium with her third-place finish in a time of 33:12.  Vitality ambassadors Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill and Lord Sebastian Coe set the masses on their way as more than 14,000 runners crossed the starting line on The Mall to make this the biggest Vitality London 10,000 in 11 editions.  As they headed along The Mall and through Admiralty Arch in bright sunshine, Farah looked supremely comfortable as a group of six runners – which included Richard Allen, Jonathan Mellor, Mohamud Aadan, Matthew Sharp and Abdulle Abdishakur – ticked off the first few kilometers of the race. But once the group had passed the halfway point, just after the Bank of England, Farah started to increase the pace and dropping first one then two runners to reduce group to four, then to three, until Allen and Sharp were the only two men able to stay with the four-time Olympic gold medallist. With 800m to go, Farah moved up a gear to move into the lead, making the final turn into Spur Road and on to the Finish Line alone, to the delight of the crowds who had turned out in huge numbers to cheer their hero to victory in 29:44. “The pace was nice and comfortable and I really enjoyed the race,” Farah said afterwards. “I was happy with the win, which is the most important thing, but it was nice to be able to run alongside club runners who look up to you. “It’s good to forget about who you are – and what you have achieved – and just enjoy the moment, which is what I did out there. (05/29/2018) ⚡AMP
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Few could have predicted the winner of the women’s race in Prague

Bornes Jepkirui Kitur of Kenya ran to victory at the Volkswagen Prague Marathon on Sunday, May 6.  Few could have predicted the results in the women’s race.  Kitur wasn’t even considered in the favorite's group before the race, but she managed to hold off all challenges en route to a clear victory in 2:24:19. “I had a really good race, the only slight issue I found were the cobblestones," she said. "I managed to shave more than four minutes off my personal best and am really delighted to have won.” The 30-year-old set her previous personal best of 2:28:48 in Mumbai in January where she finished second. The second and third podium spots went to Ethiopians Belaynesh Oljira and Amane Gobena who clocked 2:27:43 and 2:25:13 respectively. The event's 24th edition featured 9778 runners. IAAF President Sebastian Coe started the race. (05/07/2018) ⚡AMP
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Should the mile be added back into the Commonwealth Games? How about the 1500m?

A mile race could be added to the programme for future editions of the Commonwealth Games as part of a broader attempt to embrace the heritage of athletics. International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe spoke enthusiastically about such a plan here today when asked about possible innovations. The mile featured on the programme at all editions of the event until Kingston 1966, when it was replaced by the 1,500 metres. It is not yet clear if a restored mile would sit alongside, or instead of, the 1,500m, although the latter scenario seems more likely due to the similarities between the events. "We have had the thought of introducing the mile back into the Commonwealth Games and I have an ambition to create and celebrate our own heritage, because often we have events that are the bedrock of our history," Coe said. "Some of the great moments in track and field have been established in a Commonwealth Games. "We still talk about the Miracle Mile, 1954 in Vancouver, these are indelible moments." The Miracle Mile saw England's Sir Roger Bannister beat Australian rival John Landy at Vancouver 1954 in the first race in which two men broke the four minute barrier. "The mile is something that we have been talking with the IAAF about recently, particularly with the passing of Roger Bannister," added Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive David Grevemberg today in Australia. (04/08/2018) ⚡AMP
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Is there a conflict of interest - Nike just dedicated a building to Sebastian Coe

Yesterday Nike dedicated a building on their Global Campus to Sebastian Coe. A little more than three years ago Coe severed his ties with Nike. The Nike Oregon Project is still part of an on going doping investigation, but the sportswear giant announced they would name a new building after the president of the IAAF on the same Nike Campus where Alberto Salazar coaches. In November 2015, Coe terminated his agreement as a $140,000-a-year ambassador for Nike in the face of accusations that a conflict of interest existed over the controversial award of the 2021 athletics World Championships to Eugene, Oregon. Maybe Nike named a building in his name because of what he did as an athlete? Sebastian Coe is a two time Olympic gold medalist (1,500 meters, 1980, 1984) and Olympic silver medalist (1980, 1984, silver medalist 800 meters). Very impressive and of course he is the current President of the IAAF. (03/13/2018) ⚡AMP
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Seb Coe Hopes Cross Country Will be Added to 2024 Olympics

"The 2024 Olympic Games in Paris would be a fitting time to see the return of cross country to the Olympic programme,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe, who attended and participated in Sunday’s Cross de Italica in Seville. Organisers of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships 2019 to be held in Aarhus, Denmark scheduled for 30 March 2019, says they have already promised initiatives to help guide the Championships into new territory. More news about the course will be announced soon. (01/24/2018) ⚡AMP
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