A world championship is generally a sports competition open to elite competitors from across the world, representing their nations, and winning such an event will be considered the highest or near highest achievement in the sport or contest.
The title is usually awarded through a combination of specific contests or, less commonly, ranking systems (e.g. the ICC Test Championship), or a combination of the two (e.g. World Triathlon Championships in Triathlon). This determines a 'world champion', who or which is commonly considered the best nation, team, individual (or other entity) in the world in a particular field, although the vagaries of sport ensure that the competitor recognised at the best in an event is not always the 'world champion' (see Underdog).
Certain sports do not have a world championship, instead they may organise a World cup competition, or they may organize both. Often, the use of the term cup or championship in this sense is just a choice of words. Some sports have multiple champions because of multiple organizations such as mixed martial arts, boxing and wrestling.
Certain sports do not have a world championships or a world cup as such, but may have one or several world champions. Professional boxing, for example, has several world champions at different weights, but each one of them is decided by a "title fight", not a tournament.
A certain number of sports hold world championships or world cups which are overshadowed, in terms of prestige, by the same events in the Olympic Games, the most prestigious multi-sports event.
Finally, certain professional sports do not have a world championship or world cup, but rather hold a series of events recognised as the elite level in their field (e.g. tennis has a series of four Grand Slam events recognised as the pinnacle of the game, in addition to key team events, world tour finals and the Olympic Games, but no world championship or world cup).
Most successful sportsperson in each sport
This table includes medals for both individual and team events. Currently active competitors are highlighted in pale green.
|Paralympic sports||Athletics||Tatyana McFadden||1989||12||1||1||12|
|Team sports||Beach volleyball||Misty May-Treanor||1977||3||1||0||4|
|Kerri Walsh Jennings||1978|
|Motor sports||Formula One||Michael Schumacher||1969||7||2||3||12|
|Grand Prix Motorcycle racing||Giacomo Agostini||1942||15||5||1||21|
|Motorboat racing||Guido Cappellini||1959||10||2||2||14|||
|Motorboat racing (offshore)||Steve Curtis||1964||8||8|
|Radio controlled car||Masami Hirosaka||1970||16||5||6||27|||
|Sports car & GT racing||Derek Bell||1941||2||1||1||4|
|Sidecar racing||Steve Webster||1960||10||4||3||17|
|(Production) Superbike racing||Carl Fogarty||1965||4||2||0||6|
|Touring car racing||Yvan Muller||1969||4||2||1||7|
|Olympic sports||Equestrian||Reiner Klimke||1936-1999||6||0||0||6|||
A fuller list can be found on the List of world championships in mind sports page.
- Time trial event.
- Greco-Roman event.
- "In-line skating". archive.org. Archived from the original on 2010-11-28. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
- "Figure Skating Senior World Championships - Roll of Honour". rollersports.org. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
- "Daniele Gilardon Biography". rowingone.com. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
- "Paul Elvstrøm - Results". sailing.org. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
- Bobsleigh world championships multiple medallist
- Nordic combined world championships multiple medallist
- Are held three world championships.
- "South Korean short track skater Ahn Hyun-Soo became the most successful skater in the short track at the World Championships". Indiaenews.com. Retrieved 2014-08-20.
- "Statistics Handbook - Daegu 2011: Part One, p1 to 185 (pdf)". iaaf.org. Retrieved 18 April 2012.[dead link]
- "Multi-Medalists Top 15". issf-sports.org. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
- The master,which qualifies the tennis world ranking, is considered the World Championship of individual tennis.
- "WORLD CUP DISTINCTIONS". phf.com.pk. Retrieved 20 April 2012.[dead link]
- "DAC Racing". class-1.com. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
- ca:Stefan Everts
- "Hirosaka, Masami | IFMAR". Rcranking.net. Retrieved 2014-08-20.
- Dressage event.
- "Reiner Klimke - Results". the-sports.org. Retrieved 20 April 2012.