Category Archives: Athletics


Six global champions were in City Center Doha this evening for the opening ceremony of the IAAF Heritage World Athletics Championships Exhibition.

The exhibition, the largest ever of its kind, celebrates the history of the IAAF World Athletics Championships whose first edition took place in Helsinki, Finland, 36 years ago, and which remain today the third most important sporting event on the planet.

The evening was hosted by IAAF President Sebastian Coe and Dahlan Al Hamad, IAAF Vice President and Director General of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 Local Organising Committee.


The exhibition, which occupies 400m2 of space in the largest shopping mall in Qatar will be open daily to the public for six months, closing on Monday 7 October. During this time the Asian Athletics Championships, Doha Diamond League and IAAF World Athletics Championships will be hosted by Doha, drawing thousands of athletes, official, media and fans to Qatar.

Stand back in awe
“Athletics is an ancient sport but there is nothing old about how this exhibition displays our history,” commented Seb Coe. “There are huge audio photo walls, LED screens showing archive competition action. There’s the chance to explore the heights and weights of champions, lift the throwing implements, touch the hurdles and stand back in awe and admire the world record heights and distances of the jumpers.”

“Add to those attractions, there are 100s of items of wonderful athletics clothing and equipment donated and loaned by some of the greatest stars of our sport on display. This exhibition is a must see for all sports fans,” concluded Coe.

1976 Olympic marathon shoes
During the ceremony, donations and loans of kit were made by six global champions.

Four-time Olympic champion Lasse Viren donated the pair of Onitsuka Tiger ASICS shoes which he wore when running the marathon at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games.

Following his second Olympic 5000m and 10,000m double, Viren took 5th place in the marathon.

Seb Coe then stepped-up to hand over his 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games spikes and national vest from his second 1500m Olympic victory.

Another British running great Liz McColgan, the 1991 world 10,000m champion, was next up on stage. McColgan loaned her winning spikes – already donated to the ASICS museum in Kobe – for display at the Heritage Exhibition.

© Bob Ramsak

World record setting hammer
The most-weighty of the donations in two respects came from Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk. Firstly, the two-time Olympic and three-time world champion was the most bemedaled of all tonight’s guests. Secondly, Wlodarczyk donated the 4kg hammer to the IAAF Heritage Collection, with which she set the first 80m+ world record by a woman.

Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Abderrahman Samba then came to the stage to officially hand over their preannounced donations of kit. Barshim, the reigning world high jump champion, presented his London 2012 Olympic Games competition vest and number, while Samba handed over the bodysuit which he wore when winning the 2018 IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 400m hurdles title.

Qatari 4x100m squad
It was an evening that summed-up the past, present and future of athletics.

Immediately before the official tape cutting to open the exhibition took place, the talented young Qatari national 4x100m relay squad, who will compete in the World Championships, also made an appearance on stage.



The Athletics timetable for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games was unveiled today during a ceremony in the Japanese capital.

Spread over ten days, athletics competition at the 29th Summer Olympic Games will commence on Friday 31 July with the men’s 20km race walk, which will finish in front of Japan’s imperial palace, and conclude on the final day of the Games, Sunday 9 August, with the men’s marathon.

In between, competition will be spread over 17 exciting sessions at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium.

“The Tokyo 2020 schedule is substantially different from our previous Olympic timetables, but will offer the vast majority of athletics fans attending the Games the opportunity to see Olympic medals being decided, with finals scheduled in 15 of the 17 sessions in the main stadium,’’ IAAF Competitions Director Paul Hardy said.

“Having finals in the morning, as requested by the International Olympic Committee, will enhance the visibility of athletics across all time zones. The stadium-based distance events remain in the evening sessions to reduce the risk of very hot conditions for our endurance athletes, while the road events will start as early as practicable in the morning.

“The new schedule also accommodates both the traditional doubles and the historic addition of the mixed 4 X 400m relay, the first time that athletics has combined the talents of both male and female athletes in one event at the Games.”

official logo of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Some of the key features:

– Nine finals will take place during the morning sessions – plus the finish of both marathons and all three race walks – which will allow more of the global audience to watch finals in prime time.

– The spread of events will allow most of the traditional doubles – 100m/200m, 200m/400m, 800m/1500m, 1500m/5000m, 5000m/10,000m – to be contested by athletes who are capable of contending in more than one event.

– All five road events are being held on separate days with no overlap so each will have its own chance in the spotlight. All races will start at 6am or earlier (the gun will sound the start of the men’s 50km walk at 5:30am) to give athletes the coolest and safest possible race conditions.

– The first athletics event of the programme, the men’s 20km race walk, will be a final, where athletes from host Japan will figure prominently in the medal chase.

– The multiple events will be showcased, with the decathlon and heptathlon staged together in the same two-day period (5-6 Aug), making a great experience for fans of combined events.

– The schedule will allow enough time for 400m specialists to compete in the new mixed 4x400m relay event that will be contested on day two, as well as the individual 400 events and the traditional 4x400m relay if they so desire.

Download the full athletics timetable for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Olympian President Olumide Oyedeji Backs Lagos Media Marathon

The President of the Nigeria Olympian Association Olumide Oyedeji has thrown his weight behind the Lagos Media Marathon.

Oyedeji while speaking in Lagos noted that the fact that journalists are interested in organizing a marathon of their own is a welcomed development.

According to the basketball legend, the move by the journalists will further enrich the culture of marathon and road races revived by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

Oyedeji commended Gov. Ambode for his foresight and initiative but noted that if the media does not embrace it, the idea will not go a long way.

However, with the right disposition exhibited by the media as reflected in their drive to have their own race, the NOA President said it is a step in the right direction.

Oyedeji who has featured in the NBA and also played basketball in all the continents of the world has given assurances that he would be registering for the Lagos Media Marathon this week.

“I will like to commend the journalists for this smart move and also offer the best support I can give to them

“I will be running in the Lagos Media Marathon but not for the prize, I will be running for fun and to also encourage more Nigerians to embrace the culture of running, exercising, jogging and others because of its enormous health benefits.”

Olumide Oyedeji

Oyedeji has stated that beyond the health benefits, marathons are often commercially viable and help boost the economy of host cities especially the hospitality and transport sectors among others.

Registration for the Lagos Media Marathon slated for May 2019 is still ongoing on the race’s official website also, physical forms can be collected at the Marathon office at the Teslim Balgon Stadium in Surulere.

According to the organizers, forms are also available for collection at the Sportswriter Association of Nigeria, SWAN headquarters


USA’s 2012 London Olympic Games 110m hurdles champion Aries Merritt has become the latest star athlete to give his support to the IAAF Heritage World Athletics Championships Exhibition which opens in Doha, Qatar on Thursday 18 April.

Merritt, the fastest man ever over the sprint hurdles, has generously donated to the IAAF Heritage Collection the pair of spikes which he wore when flying to the current 110m hurdles world record of 12.80 seconds in the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Brussels on 7 September 2012.

The spikes will be on public display in the IAAF Heritage Exhibition in the City Center Doha shopping mall for six months leading into and through the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 (27 Sep to 6 Oct).

In a special ceremony on the evening of Thursday 18 April, IAAF President Sebastian Coe together with Dahlan Al Hamad, IAAF Vice President and Director General of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 Local Organising Committee, will officially open the world’s largest ever display of athletics artefacts and memorabilia.

USA’s 2012 London Olympic Games 110m hurdles champion Aries Merritt
© Jiro Mochizuki

“When I heard about the IAAF Heritage project, I immediately knew I had to become involved and help promote track and field,” Merritt said. “I hope that the display of my world record spikes in Doha will attract the attention of sports fans and the preservation of the shoes will assist the telling of tracks’ incredible story to future generations.”

TIMELINE: Blankers-Koen to Jackson to Johnson to Merritt

Hurdling history will play an important part in the exhibition displays. Fanny Blankers-Koen’s Olympic accreditation cards from London 1948, Nawal El Moutawakel’s 1984 Olympic spikes, Colin Jackson’s Stuttgart 1993 world record vest, Allen Johnson’s Athens 1997 spikes, Nezha Bidouane’s Edmonton 2001 bodysuit and number, Jana Pittman’s Paris 2003 winning vest and number are just a few of artefacts from famous global champions which will be on display alongside Merritt’s spikes.

The IAAF Heritage World Athletics Championships Exhibition will be open from Thursday 18 April to Monday 7 October 2019.


Lagos Media Marathon Calls For Volunteers

Organisers of the maiden Lagos Media Marathon have made an official announcement; seeking for volunteers for the upcoming media race slated for May.

Debo Oshundun the vice chairman of the organising committee for the media marathon said on Tuesday that more hands are needed to help midwife the historic event.

Oshundun said volunteers are needed in some key aspects that would further help with a seamless organisation.

The aspects in which volunteers are being expected include medical, transportation, steward, welfare, logistics and technical

He said:” We are asking for interested volunteers to come on board in this historic journey that would be placing Lagos and indeed Nigeria in the history books as far as road races and sports is concerned in Africa.

“We would like to have genuine volunteers who are willing to contribute their own little quota towards uplifting their society.

According to the organisers, members of the Nigeria Youth Service Corp, NYSC, undergraduates across the different tertiary institutions and also graduates are the ones solely eligible to apply as Volunteers for the Lagos’s Media Marathon

” Yes, for this edition, those are the cadre we want to apply so we can have a quality workforce.”

Certificates, quality kits as well as stipends for meals and transportation are some of the benefits in place for selected volunteers.

“There are several benefits in place for our Volunteers but we don’t want those who are only concerned about getting Money” the Lagos media Marathon organising committee vice chairman concluded.

Those interested in volunteering during the Lagos media Marathon are to send their CVS to

Meanwhile, registration for participation in the Lagos media Marathon is still ongoing on http://www.lagos while physical forms are available at the Marathon office at the Teslim Balogun Stadium or the SWAN Secretariat inside the National Stadium Surulere.


At tonight’s IAAF Dinner ahead of tomorrow’s IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships Aarhus 2019, IAAF President Sebastian Coe announced the winner of the competition to design the IAAF World Athletics Heritage Plaque.

Coe also took the opportunity of an enjoyable evening in Aarhus City Hall to confirm the award of plaques to six more recipients whose historic contribution to athletics were recognised in the ‘competition’ category.

Brazilian winner

The winner of the public competition to design the plaque, which Coe opened when he launched the new award on 2 December 2018, is Fernando Silva, a 27-year-old resident and recreational runner from the Brazilian city of Manaus.

The main oval of the design represents the ‘global’ sport of athletics, while the gold colour of that ring represents ‘excellence’. The six bright modern colours surrounding the main gold oval stand for the ‘universality’ of Athletics as represented by its six Continental Areas and the six core event groups of athletics: sprints, hurdles & relays; middle/long distance; combined events; jumping; throwing; ‘out of stadia’ (cross country, mountain, road, trial and ultra running and race walking).

Entries from across four continents

Coe commented “the concept of the World Athletics Heritage Plaque was very well received when we announced the project and the first dozen recipients in December. I’m delighted to confirm that the design competition attracted a high standard of entries across four continents. Now that we have a winner, we have moved an important step towards the first unveilings of plaques around the world in 2020.”

The plaque design will now undergo some further work ahead of manufacture at the end of the year.

Fernando Silva, who wins a trip for two to the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, commented, “I’m extremely proud and honoured that my design has been recognised and that it will be permanently displayed in athletics locations around the world.”

“The folklore of sport”

Six more plaque locations, all ‘out-of-stadia’ competitions, were confirmed by Coe bringing the total number of recipients so far honoured to 18.

Link to map:

Appropriately given the reason for tonight’s IAAF Dinner, three of the new plaques recipients are historic cross country competitions. The English Cross Country Championships (founded 1877) and the USA Cross Country Championships (1889) are two of the oldest national championships in the multi terrain discipline and hold an aura which only comes from more than 100 years of running heritage. Italy’s annual Cinque Mulini (1933), an IAAF Cross Country Permit meeting, was also recognised for being an emblematic competition which over the decades has attracted many of the world’s best middle and long distance runners, including Coe.

In terms of road running, no other marathon race has a longer continuous tradition in the world or represents such history as does the B.A.A. Boston Marathon (1897).

The ‘Athens Marathon The Authentic’ (1972) might be a youngster by comparison to Boston having only have been founded under 50 years ago but, running on the original course from Marathon to Athens, its roots stretch back to Pheidippides’ famous run in 490BC.


When it comes to race walking there are few competitions to match the stature and history of the meeting in La Coruna, Spain. The annual Gran Premio Cantones de La Coruña (1986), which hosted the IAAF World Cup in 2006, is a beacon of excellence and the oldest IAAF Race Walking Challenge meeting.

“Tonight, we have recognised competitions which rest at the very heart of the history of athletics,” said Coe. “These six races have over the decades caught the imagination of athletes and fans alike, for whom they are high up in the bucket list of athletics events which must be experienced. Some elements like Boston Marathon’s Heartbreak Hill have become part of the folklore of world sport and have set these events apart as truly appropriate Heritage locations.”

Link to List of Plaques:



The IAAF Doping Review Board has agreed that the applications of five Russian athletes have met the exceptional eligibility criteria to compete in international competition as neutral athletes in 2019 under competition Rule 22.1A(b) while the Russian national federation (RusAF) remains suspended.

The application process for athletes seeking neutral status in international competitions in 2019 opened in December 2018. A total of 68 Russian athletes have so far been declared eligible to compete as Authorised Neutral Athletes in 2019. Fifteen applications have so far been rejected in 2019.

The Doping Review Board, which is composed of Robert Hersh (chair), Sylvia Barlag and Antti Pihlakoski, has accepted the applications of the following athletes:

Elizaveta Kamenets (heptathlon)
Alexander Komarov (decathlon)
Rail Kutuev (long jump)
Liliia Mendaeva (1500/3000m) – European U20 Championships only
Aleksey Shevchuk (race walk)

The participation of all these athletes as neutral athletes in international competition is still subject to formalities for eligibility under IAAF Rules being completed and subject to acceptance of their entries by individual meeting organisers.

As this is an ongoing process, the IAAF will only make announcements as and when decisions are made by the Doping Review Board concerning successful applications and those athletes have been informed.

2019 Authorised Neutral Athletes
Date of announcement and athlete/event

21 February 2019: Nikita Andriyanov (high jump), Alena Beliakova (discus), Anastasiya Borodulina (hammer), Kirill Chernkhin (sprints), Yana Glotova (400m), Irina Gumeniuk (triple jump), Adelina Khalikova (high jump), Valeriya Khramova/Andreeva (400m), Aleksey Khudyakov (discus), Yevgeniy Korotovskii (hammer), Evgeniy Kunts (1500m), Dmitriy Lopin (sprints), Artem Makarenko (combined events), Igor Obratsov (sprints), Mariia Pavlova (combined events), Sergey Polianski (long jump), Natalya Pospelova (hammer), Aleksey Sokirskii (hammer), Elena Sokolova (long jump), Polina Sokolova (discus), Irina Takuntcheva (400m)

21 January 2019: Diana Adasko (triple jump), Maxim Afonin (shot put), Dzhennifer Akiniimika (sprints), Mariia Aglitckaia (100m hurdles), Rinas Akhmadeev (long distance), Elizaveta Bondarenko (pole vault), Oleg Braiko (jumps), Viktor Butenko (discus), Timofey Chalyy (400m hurdles), Danila Danilov (hammer), Alexey Fedorov (triple jump), Aksana Gatauillina (pole vault), Georgiy Gorokhov (pole vault), Illia Ivaniuk (high jump), Maria Kochanova (high jump), Viacheslav Kolesnichenko (sprints), Alexander Komarov (combined events) – European U20 Championships only, Vilena Komarova (combined events), Elena Kulichenko (high jump), Anna Krylova (triple jump), Maria Lasitskene (high jump), Aleksandr Lesnoi (shot put), Denis Lukyanov (hammer), Alena Lutkovskaia (pole vault), Alena Mamina (sprints), Polina Miller (sprints), Vasiliy Mizinov (race walks), Timur Morgunov (pole vault), Ilia Mudrov (pole vault), Olga Mullina (pole vault), Egor Nikolaev (1500m), Sofia Palkina (hammer), Viktoriia Prokopenko (triple jump), Vera Rudakova (400m hurdles), Fedor Shutov (long distance), Illia Skkurenev (combined events), Anastasiia Shkurutova (hammer), Sergey Shubenkov (110m hurdles), Anzhelika Sidorova (pole vault), Olesia Soldatova (400m), Yana Smerdova (race walks), Elizaveta Tsareva (hammer)