IAAF World Championships in Athletics

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IAAF World Championships in Athletics
Sport Athletics
Founded 1983
Continent International (IAAF)
Most recent
champion(s)
Last winners lists
TV partner(s) SBS Two (Australia)
CBC (Canada)
Eurovision (Europe except United Kingdom)
KBS (South Korea)
CCTV (China)
TBS (Japan)
BBC (United Kingdom)
NBCUniversal (United States)
Sportv (Brazil)

The IAAF World Championships, commonly referred to as the World Championships in Athletics, is a biennial athletics event organized by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Originally held every four years, first in 1983, the current two-year cycle began in 1991.

History[edit]

The idea of having an Athletics World Championships was around well before the competition's first event in 1983. In 1913, the IAAF decided that the Olympic Games would serve as the World Championships for athletics. This was considered suitable for over 50 years until in the late 1960s the desire of many IAAF members to have their own World Championships began to grow. In 1976 at the IAAF Council Meeting in Puerto Rico an Athletics World Championships separate from the Olympic Games was approved.

Following bids from both Stuttgart, West Germany and Helsinki, Finland, the IAAF Council awarded the inaugural competition to Helsinki, to take place in 1983 and be held in the Helsinki Olympic Stadium (where the 1952 Summer Olympics had been held).

Two IAAF world championship events preceded the inaugural edition of the World Championships in Athletics in 1983. The 1976 World Championships had just one event – the men's 50 kilometres walk which was dropped from the Olympic programme for the 1976 Summer Olympics and the IAAF responded by setting up their own contest. Four years later, the 1980 World Championships contained only two newly approved women's events, (400 metres hurdles and 3000 metres), neither of which featured on the programme for the 1980 Summer Olympics.[1][2]

Over the years the competition has grown in size. In 1983 an estimated 1,300 athletes from 154 countries participated.[3] By the 2003 competition, in Paris, it had grown to 1,907 athletes from 203 countries with coverage being transmitted to 179 different countries.

There has also been a change in composition over the years, with several new events, all for women, being added. By 2005, the only differences were men's competition in the 50 km walk, and equivalent events in women's 100 m hurdles and heptathlon to men's 110 m hurdles and decathlon.

The following list shows when new events were added for the first time.

Championships[edit]

Edition Year City Country Date Venue Capacity Events Nations Athletes Top of the
medal table
1st 1983 Helsinki  Finland 7 Aug – 14 Aug Olympiastadion 50,000 41 153 1,333  East Germany
2nd 1987 Rome  Italy 28 Aug – 6 Sep Stadio Olimpico 60,000 43 156 1,419  East Germany
3rd 1991 Tokyo  Japan 23 Aug – 1 Sep Olympic Stadium 48,000 43 162 1,491  United States
4th 1993 Stuttgart  Germany 13 Aug – 22 Aug Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion 70,000 44 187 1,630  United States
5th 1995 Gothenburg  Sweden 5 Aug – 13 Aug Ullevi 42,000 44 190 1,755  United States
6th 1997 Athens  Greece 1 Aug – 10 Aug Olympiako Stadio 75,000 44 197 1,785  United States
7th 1999 Seville  Spain 20 Aug – 29 Aug Estadio Olímpico de la Cartuja 70,000 46 200 1,750  United States
8th 2001 Edmonton  Canada 3 Aug – 12 Aug Commonwealth Stadium 60,000 46 189 1,677  Russia
9th 2003 Saint-Denis  France 23 Aug – 31 Aug Stade de France 78,000 46 198 1,679  United States
10th 2005 Helsinki  Finland 6 Aug – 14 Aug Olympiastadion 45,000 47 191 1,688  United States
11th 2007 Osaka  Japan 24 Aug – 2 Sep Nagai Stadium 45,000 47 197 1,800  United States
12th 2009 Berlin  Germany 15 Aug – 23 Aug Olympiastadion 74,000 47 200 1,895  United States
13th 2011 Daegu  South Korea 27 Aug – 4 Sep Daegu Stadium 65,000 47 199 1,742  United States
14th 2013 Moscow  Russia 10 Aug – 18 Aug Luzhniki Stadium 78,000 47 203 1,784  United States
15th 2015 Beijing  China 22 Aug – 30 Aug Beijing National Stadium 80,000 47 205 1,771  Kenya
16th 2017 London  United Kingdom 4 Aug – 13 Aug Olympic Stadium 60,000 48 205 2036  United States
17th 2019 Doha  Qatar 25 Sep – 6 Oct Khalifa International Stadium 48,000 48
18th 2021 Eugene  United States 6 Aug – 15 Aug
(unofficial)
Hayward Field 30,000 48

All-time medal table[edit]

Proportional symbol map of the world showing medal totals by country since 1983 for the IAAF World Championships in Athletics

Updated after 2017 Championships

 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States 153 107 93 353
2  Kenya 55 47 38 140
3  Russia 53 59 58 170
4  Jamaica 32 44 38 114
5  Germany 32 31 39 102
6  Great Britain 28 33 37 98
7  Ethiopia 27 25 25 77
8  Soviet Union 22 27 28 77
9  Cuba 21 23 13 57
10  East Germany 20 18 15 53
11  Poland 18 13 22 53
12  China 15 21 17 53
13  Czech Republic 14 6 5 25
14  France 13 16 22 51
15  Italy 11 15 14 40
16  Ukraine 11 12 13 36
17  Australia 11 12 12 35
18  South Africa 11 7 9 27
19  Morocco 10 12 7 29
20  Belarus 9 13 11 33
21  Spain 8 15 16 39
22  Sweden 8 5 5 18
23  Finland 7 8 7 22
24  The Bahamas 7 7 9 23
25  Norway 7 5 3 15
26  Canada 6 14 12 32
27  Portugal 6 6 8 20
28  Bahrain 6 2 2 10
29  New Zealand 6 1 0 7
30  Algeria 6 0 3 9
31  Romania 5 8 10 23
32  Greece 5 6 10 21
33  Bulgaria 5 3 8 16
34  Japan 4 7 15 26
35  Czechoslovakia 4 4 3 11
36  Croatia 4 3 1 8
37  Ireland 4 2 0 6
38  Colombia 4 1 1 6
39   Switzerland 4 0 3 7
40  Netherlands 3 5 10 18
41  Trinidad and Tobago 3 4 6 13
42  Mexico 3 2 8 13
43  Qatar 3 2 2 7
44  Lithuania 3 2 1 6
45  Mozambique 3 1 1 5
46  Ecuador 3 1 0 4
47  Denmark 3 0 1 4
48  West Germany 2 6 3 11
49  Estonia 2 4 2 8
50  Uganda 2 2 2 6
51  Dominican Republic 2 1 1 4
52  Tajikistan 2 1 0 3
53  Brazil 1 6 6 13
54  ANA 1 5 0 6
55  Namibia 1 4 0 5
56  Turkey 1 2 1 4
57  Zambia 1 2 0 3
58  Belgium 1 1 4 6
59  Slovenia 1 1 2 4
60  Panama 1 1 0 2
60  Botswana 1 1 0 2
60  Eritrea 1 1 0 2
63  Saint Kitts and Nevis 1 0 4 5
64  Slovakia 1 0 3 4
65  Syria 1 0 2 3
66  Grenada 1 0 1 2
66  Senegal 1 0 1 2
66  Somalia 1 0 1 2
66  Venezuela 1 0 1 2
70  Barbados 1 0 0 1
70  North Korea 1 0 0 1
72  Hungary 0 7 6 13
73  Nigeria 0 4 5 9
74  Ivory Coast 0 4 0 4
75  Kazakhstan 0 3 5 8
76  Burundi 0 2 1 3
76  Djibouti 0 2 1 3
76  Israel 0 2 1 3
76  Tunisia 0 2 1 3
80  Cameroon 0 2 0 2
80  Puerto Rico 0 2 0 2
82  Austria 0 1 1 2
82  Cyprus 0 1 1 2
82  Ghana 0 1 1 2
82  Sri Lanka 0 1 1 2
82  Suriname 0 1 1 2
82  Tanzania 0 1 1 2
88  Bermuda 0 1 0 1
88  Egypt 0 1 0 1
88  Sudan 0 1 0 1
91  Serbia 0 0 3 3
92  Latvia 0 0 2 2
93  American Samoa 0 0 1 1
93  Bosnia and Herzegovina 0 0 1 1
93  Cayman Islands 0 0 1 1
93  Dominica 0 0 1 1
93  Haiti 0 0 1 1
93  India 0 0 1 1
93  Iran 0 0 1 1
93  Saudi Arabia 0 0 1 1
93  Zimbabwe 0 0 1 1
Total 725 732 735 2192

All-time placing table[edit]

In the IAAF placing table the total score is obtained from assigning eight points to the first place and so on to one point for the eight placed finalists. Points are shared in situations where a tie occurs.

Updated after 2015 Championships[4]

Rank Country 1st, gold medalist(s) 2nd, silver medalist(s) 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 4 5 6 7 8 Medals Points
1  United States 145 94+1= 80+2= 62+5= 72+3= 62+2= 62+1= 58+4= 322 3320
2  Germany 59 56 60+2= 69+2= 60+1= 59+1= 49+5= 40+1= 177 2156.5
3  Russia 48 51+5= 50+3= 50+2= 45+3= 45+1= 38+1= 41 157 1795.5
4  Kenya 50 46 33 37 33 21 38 16 129 1392
5  Jamaica 31 44 35+1= 25 24 21 24 20 111 1123.5
6  United Kingdom 25 31 36 32+2= 43+1= 24 26+1= 18 92 1120.5
7  Soviet Union 23 25+2= 28 21+1= 17 12 11 17+1= 78 793
8  Ethiopia 25 22 25 18 15 13 16 13 72 738
9  France 10 17 19+1= 21 25+1= 26 23+1= 29+1= 47 679.6
10  Cuba 21 22+1= 12 27 7+2= 15 20 17 56 672.5
11  China 13 17+1= 15 19 25 16+1= 17 15 46 614
12  Poland 15 11+1= 14+3= 21+1= 16 18+1= 21+1= 18+2= 44 595.3
13  Italy 11 14+1= 15 12 17+2= 22 28+3= 25+1= 41 568

Multiple medalists[edit]

Multiple winners[edit]

Boldface denotes active athletes and highest medal count among all athletes (including these who not included in these tables) per type.

Men[edit]

Rank Athlete Country Events From To Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Usain Bolt  Jamaica 100 m / 200 m / 4x100 m relay 2007 2017 11 2 1 14
2 LaShawn Merritt  United States 400 m / 4x400 m relay 2005 2015 * 8 * 3 - * 11 *
3 Carl Lewis  United States 100 m / 200 m / 4x100 m relay / Long jump 1983 1993 8 1 1 10
4 Michael Johnson  United States 200 m / 400 m / 4x400 m relay 1991 1999 8 - - 8
5 Mo Farah  Great Britain 5000 m / 10,000 m 2011 2017 6 2 - 8
6 Sergey Bubka  Soviet Union
 Ukraine
Pole vault 1983 1997 6 - - 6
7 Jeremy Wariner  United States 400 m / 4x400 m relay 2005 2009 5 1 - 6
8 Kenenisa Bekele  Ethiopia 5000 m / 10,000 m 2003 2009 5 - 1 6
Lars Riedel  Germany Discus throw 1991 2001 5 - 1 6
10 Maurice Greene  United States 100 m / 200 m / 4x100 m relay 1997 2001 5 - - 5

* including one medal in the relay event in which he participated in the heats only

Women[edit]

Rank Athlete Country Events From To Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Allyson Felix  United States 200 m / 400 m / 4x100 m relay / 4x400 m relay 2005 2017 11 3 2 16
2 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce  Jamaica 100 m / 200 m / 4x100 m relay 2007 2015 7 * 2 * - * 9 *
3 Gail Devers  United States 100 m / 100 m hurdles / 4x100 m relay 1991 2001 5 3 - 8
4 Sanya Richards-Ross  United States 400 m / 4x400 m relay 2003 2015 5 2 - 7
5 Tirunesh Dibaba  Ethiopia 5000 m / 10,000 m 2003 2017 5 1 - 6
Natasha Hastings  United States 4x400 m relay 2007 2017 **** 5 **** 1 - **** 6 ****
7 Jearl Miles Clark  United States 400 m / 4x400 m relay 1993 2003 4 3 2 9
8 Valerie Adams (Vili)  New Zealand Shot put 2005 2013 4 1 - 5
Vivian Cheruiyot  Kenya 5000 m / 10,000 m 2007 2015 4 1 - 5
10 Jackie Joyner-Kersee  United States Heptathlon / Long jump 1987 1993 4 - - 4

* including one medal in the relay event in which she participated in the heats only
**** including four medals in the relay events in which she participated in the heats only

Athletes with most appearances[edit]

There are 53 athletes that have competed in at least eight editions.[5]

App. Name Country Years contested Events
12 Jesús Ángel García Bragado  Spain 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11, 13, 15 50 km walk
11 Susana Feitor  Portugal 91, 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11 10 km walk / 20 km walk
10 Franka Dietzsch  Germany 91, 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09 Discus throw
Nicoleta Grasu  Romania 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 05, 07, 09, 11, 13 Discus throw
Virgilijus Alekna  Lithuania 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11, 13 Discus throw
Kim Collins  Saint Kitts and Nevis 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11, 15 100 m / 200 m / 4x100 m
João Vieira  Portugal 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11, 13, 15, 17 20 km walk / 50 km walk
9 Laverne Eve  Bahamas 87, 91, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07 Javelin throw
Tim Berrett  Canada 91, 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07 20 km walk / 50 km walk
Jackie Edwards  Bahamas 91, 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07 Long Jump / Triple Jump
Maria Mutola  Mozambique 91, 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07 800 m
Elisângela Adriano  Brazil 91, 93, 97, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11 Shot put / Discus throw
Venelina Veneva  Bulgaria 91, 95, 99, 01, 03, 05, 09, 11, 15 High Jump
Danny McFarlane  Jamaica 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09 400 m / 400 m hurdles / 4x400 m
Hatem Ghoula  Tunisia 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 13 20 km walk
Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie  Bahamas 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 07, 09, 11, 13 100 m / 200 m / 4x100 m
Nicola Vizzoni  Italy 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11, 13 Hammer throw
Chris Brown  Bahamas 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11, 13, 15 400 m / 4x400 m
Zhang Wenxiu  China 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11, 13, 15, 17 Hammer throw
8 Merlene Ottey  Jamaica /  Slovenia 83, 87, 91, 93, 95, 97, 03, 07 100 m / 200 m / 4x100 m
Jan Železný  Czechoslovakia /  Czech Republic 87, 91, 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03 Javelin throw
Yelena Nikolayeva  Soviet Union /  Russia 87, 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05 10 km walk / 20 km walk
Fiona May  Great Britain /  Italy 91, 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05 Long Jump
Beverly McDonald  Jamaica 91, 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05 100 m / 200 m / 4x100 m
Lars Riedel  Germany 91, 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05 Discus throw
Dragutin Topić  SFR Yugoslavia / IWP * /  FR Yugoslavia /
 Serbia and Montenegro /  Serbia
91, 93, 95, 97, 99, 05, 07, 09 High Jump
Iryna Yatchenko  Soviet Union /  Belarus 91, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 07, 09 Discus throw
Eunice Barber  Sierra Leone /  France 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07 Heptathlon / Long Jump / 100 m hurdles
Kevin Sullivan  Canada 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07 1500 m
Manuel Martínez  Spain 93, 95, 97, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09 Shot put
Steffi Nerius  Germany 93, 95, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09 Javelin throw
Amy Acuff  United States 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09 High Jump
Chandra Sturrup  Bahamas 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09 100 m / 200 m / 4x100 m
Aleksander Tammert  Estonia 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09 Discus throw
María Vasco  Spain 95, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11 10 km walk / 20 km walk
Koji Murofushi  Japan 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 07, 11, 13 Hammer throw
Szymon Ziółkowski  Poland 95, 99, 01, 05, 07, 09, 11, 13 Hammer throw
Marlon Devonish  Great Britain 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11 100 m / 200 m / 4x100 m
Nadine Kleinert  Germany 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11 Shot put
Sergey Makarov  Russia 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11 Javelin throw
Ēriks Rags  Latvia 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11 Javelin throw
Roman Šebrle  Czech Republic 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11 Decathlon
Omar Zepeda  Mexico 97, 01, 05, 07, 09, 11, 13, 17 20 km walk / 50 km walk
Mario Pestano  Spain 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11, 13 Discus throw
Félix Sánchez  Dominican Republic 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11, 13 400 m hurdles / 4x400 m
Bouabdellah Tahri  France 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11, 13 1500 m / 3000 m steeplechase
Inês Henriques  Portugal 01, 05, 07, 09, 11, 13, 15, 17 20 km walk / 50 km walk
Zoltán Kővágó  Hungary 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11, 15, 17 Discus throw
Ruth Beitia  Spain 03, 05, 07, 09, 11, 13, 15, 17 High Jump
Allyson Felix  United States 03, 05, 07, 09, 11, 13, 15, 17 200 m / 400 m / 4x100 m / 4x400 m
Gerd Kanter  Estonia 03, 05, 07, 09, 11, 13, 15, 17 Discus throw
Ezekiel Kemboi  Kenya 03, 05, 07, 09, 11, 13, 15, 17 3000 m steeplechase
Bat-Ochiryn Ser-Od  Mongolia 03, 05, 07, 09, 11, 13, 15, 17 Marathon

* At the 1993 World Championships in Athletics in Stuttgart, Germany, Dragutin Topić completed as Individual World Championship Participant (IWP) as Athletic Federation of Yugoslavia was suspended by IAAF due to United Nations sanctions stemming from the Yugoslav wars.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]