Sports

What you need to know about the new World Athletics Ultimate Championship

Tuesday, June 4th, 2024 14:45 | By
Mary Moraa in 800m race action at the Kip Keino Classic at Nyayo Stadium. PHOTO/World Athletics
Mary Moraa in 800m race action at the Kip Keino Classic at Nyayo Stadium. PHOTO/World Athletics

World Athletics has announced the launch of a new global competition dubbed the World Athletics Ultimate Championship.

The new competition is set to break the financial barriers, with an estimated prize money of Ksh1.3 billion, the biggest in athletics history.

Ultimate world championship

Pitting the best athletes in the world against the best, the championship will see world champions, Olympic champions, and Diamond League champions against each other across three evening sessions, each lasting under three hours to crown an ultimate winner.

Think of a football World Cup, but make it once every two years. Athletes will represent their nations in the showcase which will include sprints, middle and long-distance races, relays, jumps, and throws.

Competing athletes in the championship will each receive financial rewards, with the champions set to earn Ksh19.6 million each.

Athletes prepare to race at a past world meet. PHOTO/Runnerspace
Athletes prepare to race at a past world meet. PHOTO/Runnerspace

The first edition of the Ultimate Championship will take place in Budapest, Hungary where more than 400 athletes will compete from September 11-13, 2026.

“With only the best of the best on the show and cutting straight to semifinals and finals, we will create immediate pressure to perform for athletes aiming to claim the title of the ultimate champion,” said World Athletics President Seb Coe.

“The World Athletics Ultimate Championship will be high on action and excitement for fans, setting a new standard for track and field events. Featuring athletics’ biggest stars, it will be a must-watch global sports event which means track and field will host a major global championship every single year, ensuring for the first time that athletics will enjoy a moment of maximum audience reach on an annual basis.”

Consultation with stakeholders including athletes and their representatives, coaches, shoe companies, broadcast organizations, Federations, and others, will continue throughout the summer before the full event launch.

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