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)

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
Athletes
1st 1983 Helsinki Finland 7 Aug – 14 Aug Olympiastadion 41 1,355
2nd 1987 Rome Italy 28 Aug – 6 Sep Stadio Olimpico 43 1,451
3rd 1991 Tokyo Japan 23 Aug – 1 Sep National Olympic Stadium 43 1,517
4th 1993 Stuttgart Germany 13 Aug – 22 Aug Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion 44 1,689
5th 1995 Gothenburg Sweden 5 Aug – 13 Aug Ullevi 44 1,804
6th 1997 Athens Greece 1 Aug – 10 Aug Olympiako Stadio 44 1,882
7th 1999 Seville Spain 20 Aug – 29 Aug Estadio Olímpico de la Cartuja 46 1,821
8th 2001 Edmonton Canada 3 Aug – 12 Aug Commonwealth Stadium 46 1,677
9th 2003 Saint-Denis France 23 Aug – 31 Aug Stade de France 46 1,679
10th 2005 Helsinki Finland 6 Aug – 14 Aug Olympiastadion 47 1,688
11th 2007 Osaka Japan 24 Aug – 2 Sep Nagai Stadium 47 1,800
12th 2009 Berlin Germany 15 Aug – 23 Aug Olympiastadion Berlin 47 1,895
13th 2011 Daegu Korea 27 Aug – 4 Sep Daegu Stadium 47 1,867
14th 2013 Moscow Russia 10 Aug – 18 Aug Luzhniki Stadium 47 1,970
15th 2015 Beijing China 22 Aug – 30 Aug Beijing National Stadium 47 1,931
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 2013 Championships

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States 138 88 75 301
2  Russia 53 59 54 166
3  Kenya 43 37 32 112
4  Germany 31 35 41 107
5  Jamaica 24 42 32 98
6  Soviet Union 22 27 28 77
7  Ethiopia 22 19 23 64
8  Great Britain 21 29 32 82
9  East Germany 21 19 16 56
10  Cuba 19 22 12 53
11  Poland 12 11 12 35
12  Czech Republic 12 5 4 21
13 Italy Italy 11 15 13 39
14  Ukraine 11 9 12 32
15  France 10 17 17 44
16 China China 10 11 14 35
17  Morocco 10 11 6 27
18 Australia Australia 10 9 12 31
19  Belarus 9 13 10 32
20  Sweden 8 4 5 17
21  Spain 7 15 16 38
22  Finland 7 8 6 21
23  The Bahamas 7 6 6 19
24  South Africa 7 6 5 18
25  Norway 6 5 3 14
26  Algeria 6 0 3 9
27  Romania 5 8 10 23
28  Portugal 5 6 5 16
29  Bulgaria 5 3 8 16
30  Bahrain 5 1 1 7
31  New Zealand 5 1 0 6
32  Canada 4 10 9 23
33  Japan 4 6 12 22
34 Greece 4 6 10 20
35  Czechoslovakia 4 4 3 11
36   Switzerland 4 0 3 7
37  Ireland 3 3 0 6
38  Mexico 3 2 8 13
39  Mozambique 3 1 1 5
40  Croatia 3 1 0 4
40  Ecuador 3 1 0 4
42  Denmark 3 0 1 4
43  Trinidad and Tobago 2 4 5 11
44  Estonia 2 4 2 8
45  Lithuania 2 2 1 5
45  Qatar 2 2 1 5
47  Dominican Republic 2 1 1 4
47  Uganda 2 1 1 4
49  Tajikistan 2 0 0 2
50  Brazil 1 5 5 11
51  Netherlands 1 4 5 10
52  Namibia 1 4 0 5
53  Zambia 1 2 0 3
54  Slovenia 1 1 2 4
55  Panama 1 1 0 2
55  Botswana 1 1 0 2
55  Eritrea 1 1 0 2
58  Saint Kitts and Nevis 1 0 4 5
59  Senegal 1 0 1 2
59  Somalia 1 0 1 2
59  Syria 1 0 1 2
62  Barbados 1 0 0 1
62  Colombia 1 0 2 3
62  Grenada 1 0 0 1
62  North Korea 1 0 0 1
66  Hungary 0 6 5 11
67  Nigeria 0 4 4 8
68  Kazakhstan 0 3 3 6
69  Turkey 0 2 1 3
69  Djibouti 0 2 1 3
71  Cameroon 0 2 0 2
71  Ivory Coast 0 2 0 2
71  Puerto Rico 0 2 0 2
74  Belgium 0 1 4 5
75  Austria 0 1 1 2
75  Burundi 0 1 1 2
75  Cyprus 0 1 1 2
75  Ghana 0 1 1 2
75  Israel 0 1 1 2
75  Sri Lanka 0 1 1 2
75  Suriname 0 1 1 2
75  Tunisia 0 1 1 2
83  Bermuda 0 1 0 1
83  Sudan 0 1 0 1
83  Tanzania 0 1 0 1
86  Slovakia 0 0 3 3
87  Serbia 0 0 2 2
88  American Samoa 0 0 1 1
88  Dominica 0 0 1 1
88  Haiti 0 0 1 1
88  India 0 0 1 1
88  Iran 0 0 1 1
88  Latvia 0 0 1 1
88  Saudi Arabia 0 0 1 1
88  Zimbabwe 0 0 1 1
95 Total 631 625 627 1883
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]
Carl Lewis  United States 8 1 1 10
LaShawn Merritt  United States 7 3 0 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 twelve 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 2 1 12
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
Yuliya Pechonkina  Russia 2 3 2 7
Beverly McDonald  Jamaica 1 4 2 7
Lorraine Graham  Jamaica 1 3 3 7
Carmelita Jeter  United States 3 1 3 7
Sanya Richards-Ross  United States 5 1 0 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
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
Venelina Veneva  Bulgaria 91, 95, 99, 01, 03, 05, 09, 11 High Jump
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
Kim Collins  Saint Kitts and Nevis 97, 99, 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11 100 m / 200 m / 4x100 m
Zhang Wenxiu  China 01, 03, 05, 07, 09, 11, 13, 15 Hammer throw

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]