IAAF World Championships in Athletics

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IAAF World Championships in Athletics
Sport Athletics
Founded 1983
No. of teams 200 (2007), 202 (2009), 204 (2011), 206 (2013), 207 (2015)
Continent International (IAAF)
Most recent champion(s) Last winners lists
TV partner(s) SBS Two (Australia)
Eurovision (Europe)
KBS (South Korea)
CCTV (China)
TBS (Japan)
NBC Universal (United States)
Sportv (Brazil)

The World Championships in Athletics is an event organized by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Originally, it was planned to be held every four years, but this changed after the third edition in 1991, and it has since been run biennially.

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 schedule for men and women was almost equal. The only differences being the men had the extra event of the 50 km walk, while women competed in the 100 m hurdles and heptathlon compared to the men in the 110 m hurdles and decathlon respectively.

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

Championships[edit]

Edition Year City Country Date Venue No. of
Events
No. of
Countries
No. of
Athletes
1st 1983 Helsinki Finland 7 Aug – 14 Aug Olympiastadion 41 153 1,333
2nd 1987 Rome Italy 28 Aug – 6 Sep Stadio Olimpico 43 156 1,419
3rd 1991 Tokyo Japan 23 Aug – 1 Sep National Olympic Stadium 43 162 1,491
4th 1993 Stuttgart Germany 13 Aug – 22 Aug Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion 44 187 1,630
5th 1995 Gothenburg Sweden 5 Aug – 13 Aug Ullevi 44 190 1,755
6th 1997 Athens Greece 1 Aug – 10 Aug Olympiako Stadio 44 197 1,785
7th 1999 Seville Spain 20 Aug – 29 Aug Estadio Olímpico de la Cartuja 46 200 1,750
8th 2001 Edmonton Canada 3 Aug – 12 Aug Commonwealth Stadium 46 189 1,677
9th 2003 Saint-Denis France 23 Aug – 31 Aug Stade de France 46 198 1,679
10th 2005 Helsinki Finland 6 Aug – 14 Aug Olympiastadion 47 191 1,688
11th 2007 Osaka Japan 24 Aug – 2 Sep Nagai Stadium 47 197 1,800
12th 2009 Berlin Germany 15 Aug – 23 Aug Olympiastadion Berlin 47 200 1,895
13th 2011 Daegu Korea 27 Aug – 4 Sep Daegu Stadium 47 199 1,742
14th 2013 Moscow Russia 10 Aug – 18 Aug Luzhniki Stadium 47 203 1,784
15th 2015 Beijing China 22 Aug – 30 Aug Beijing National Stadium 47 205 1,771
16th 2017 London United Kingdom 5 Aug – 13 Aug The Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
17th 2019 Doha Qatar 28 Sep – 6 Oct Khalifa International Stadium
18th 2021 Eugene United States 14 Aug - 22 Aug (unofficial) Hayward Field

Medal totals since 1983[edit]

Updated after 2015 Championships

 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States 143 96 84 323
2  Russia 55 60 57 172
3  Kenya 50 43 35 128
4  Germany 33 35 40 108
5  Jamaica 31 44 35 110
6  Great Britain 25 30 34 89
7  Ethiopia 25 22 25 72
8  Soviet Union 22 27 28 77
9  Cuba 21 23 12 56
10  East Germany 20 18 15 53
11  Poland 16 11 16 43
12  Czech Republic 13 5 4 22
13 China China 11 18 15 44
14 Italy Italy 11 15 13 39
15  Ukraine 11 11 13 35
16  France 10 17 19 46
17 Australia Australia 10 11 12 33
18  Belarus 9 13 11 33
19  Morocco 9 11 7 27
20  Spain 8 15 16 39
21  South Africa 8 6 7 21
22  Finland 7 8 7 22
23  The Bahamas 7 6 7 20
24  Sweden 7 3 5 15
25  Canada 6 14 12 32
26  Norway 6 5 2 13
27  Algeria 6 0 3 9
28  Romania 5 8 10 23
29  Portugal 5 6 7 18
30  Bulgaria 5 3 8 16
31  Bahrain 5 1 2 8
32  New Zealand 5 1 0 6
33  Japan 4 6 13 23
34 Greece 4 6 10 20
35  Czechoslovakia 4 4 3 11
36   Switzerland 4 0 3 7
37  Croatia 3 3 0 6
37  Ireland 3 3 0 6
39  Mexico 3 1 8 12
40  Mozambique 3 1 1 5
41  Ecuador 3 1 0 4
42  Denmark 3 0 1 4
43  Netherlands 2 5 7 14
44  Trinidad and Tobago 2 4 5 11
45  Estonia 2 4 2 8
46  Lithuania 2 2 1 5
46  Qatar 2 2 1 5
48  Uganda 2 1 2 5
49  Dominican Republic 2 1 1 4
50  Tajikistan 2 1 0 3
51  Colombia 2 0 2 4
52 Brazil Brazil 1 6 5 12
53  Namibia 1 4 0 5
54  Zambia 1 2 0 3
55  Slovenia 1 1 2 4
56  Panama 1 1 0 2
56  Botswana 1 1 0 2
56  Eritrea 1 1 0 2
59  Saint Kitts and Nevis 1 0 4 5
60  Slovakia 1 0 3 4
61  Grenada 1 0 1 2
61  Senegal 1 0 1 2
61  Somalia 1 0 1 2
61  Syria 1 0 1 2
65  Barbados 1 0 0 1
65  North Korea 1 0 0 1
67  Hungary 0 6 5 11
68  Nigeria 0 4 4 8
69  Kazakhstan 0 3 4 7
70  Djibouti 0 2 1 3
71  Israel 0 2 1 3
71  Tunisia 0 2 1 3
73  Turkey 0 2 1 3
74  Cameroon 0 2 0 2
74  Ivory Coast 0 2 0 2
74  Puerto Rico 0 2 0 2
77  Belgium 0 1 4 5
78  Austria 0 1 1 2
78  Burundi 0 1 1 2
78  Cyprus 0 1 1 2
78  Ghana 0 1 1 2
78  Sri Lanka 0 1 1 2
78  Suriname 0 1 1 2
84  Bermuda 0 1 0 1
84  Egypt 0 1 0 1
84  Sudan 0 1 0 1
84  Tanzania 0 1 0 1
88  Serbia 0 0 3 3
89  Latvia 0 0 2 2
90  American Samoa 0 0 1 1
90  Bosnia and Herzegovina 0 0 1 1
90  Cayman Islands 0 0 1 1
90  Dominica 0 0 1 1
90  Haiti 0 0 1 1
90  India 0 0 1 1
90  Iran 0 0 1 1
90  Saudi Arabia 0 0 1 1
90  Zimbabwe 0 0 1 1
98 Total 670 685 681 2036
Proportional symbol map of the world showing medal totals by country since 1983 for the IAAF World Championships in Athletics

Ceremonies[edit]

The opening and closing ceremonies of the 8th IAAF World Championships held in Edmonton in 2001 were broadcast live to over 200 countries. The event included the men's marathon, and featured a thousand voice choir and original music by The Second City alumni Jan Randall.

Multiple medallist[edit]

Men

There are fifteen athletes who have won at least six medals.[4]

Athlete Country Gold medal world centered-2.svg Silver medal world centered-2.svg Bronze medal world centered-2.svg Tot.
Usain Bolt  Jamaica 11 2 0 13 [5]
LaShawn Merritt  United States 8 3 0 11
Carl Lewis  United States 8 1 1 10
Michael Johnson  United States 8 0 0 8
Ezekiel Kemboi  Kenya 4 3 0 7
Haile Gebrselassie  Ethiopia 4 2 1 7
Sergey Bubka  Soviet Union /  Ukraine 6 0 0 6
Mo Farah  United Kingdom 5 1 0 6
Jeremy Wariner  United States 5 1 0 6
Kenenisa Bekele  Ethiopia 5 0 1 6
Lars Riedel  Germany 5 0 1 6
Hicham El Guerrouj  Morocco 4 2 0 6
Butch Reynolds  United States 3 2 1 6
Bernard Lagat  Kenya /  United States 2 3 1 6
Greg Haughton  Jamaica 0 3 3 6
Women

There are thirteen athletes who have won at least six medals.[4]

Athlete Country Gold medal world centered-2.svg Silver medal world centered-2.svg Bronze medal world centered-2.svg Tot.
Merlene Ottey  Jamaica 3 4 7 14
Allyson Felix  United States 9 3 1 13
Veronica Campbell-Brown  Jamaica 3 7 1 11
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce  Jamaica 7 2 0 9
Jearl Miles Clark  United States 4 3 2 9
Gail Devers  United States 5 3 0 8
Gwen Torrence  United States 3 4 1 8
Sanya Richards-Ross  United States 5 2 0 7
Carmelita Jeter  United States 3 1 3 7
Yuliya Pechonkina  Russia 2 3 2 7
Beverly McDonald  Jamaica 1 4 2 7
Lorraine Graham  Jamaica 1 3 3 7
Christine Ohuruogu  United Kingdom 2 0 4 6

Athletes with most appearances[edit]

There are eighteen athletes that competed in at least eight editions.[4]

App. Name Country Years contested Events
12 Jesús Ángel García  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
Virgilijus Alekna  Lithuania 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07 , 09, 11, 13 Discus throw
9 Tim Berrett  Canada 91, 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07 20 km walk / 50 km walk
Maria Mutola  Mozambique 91, 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07 800 m
Danny McFarlane  Jamaica 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09 400 m / 400 m hurdles / 4x400 m
Nicola Vizzoni  Italy 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11, 13 Hammer throw
Kim Collins  Saint Kitts and Nevis 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11, 15 100 m / 200 m / 4x100 m
Venelina Veneva  Bulgaria 91, 95, 99, 01, 03, 05, 09, 11, 15 High Jump
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
Lars Riedel  Germany 91, 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05 Discus throw
Hatem Ghoula  Tunisia 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07 20 km walk
Kevin Sullivan  Canada 93, 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07 1500 m
Aleksander Tammert  Estonia 95, 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09 Discus throw
Sergey Makarov  Russia 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11 Javelin throw
Zhang Wenxiu  China 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11, 13, 15 Hammer throw

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]