Track and field

To make sure track and field has an international audience in the years between world championships, World Athletics will launch a new three-day global championship in 2026. The World Athletics Ultimate Championship will take place every two years, starting in Budapest, where it will be held on September 11 – 13, 2026.

What to expect from the Ultimate Championship? 

With a total prize fund of US$10 million—the greatest in the sport’s history—gold medallists will get US$150,000 each. 

“We want to make sure that we have the famous billion eyeballs that watch our world championships and Olympic Games,” World Athletics president Sebastion Coe declared.

He added: “We have to have every year in that four-year cycle that coalescence of fans on television, and secondly, it is really important that we extend the season as much as we can at both ends. We need the athletes out there as often as they can.”

The competition will be held every two years, alternating with the outdoor world championships, which are also conducted once in two years and will next be hosted in Tokyo in 2025.

Up to 16 of the finest athletes in the world in each discipline will compete in the World Athletics Ultimate Championship, which will have an estimated 400 competitors overall. 

“With only the best of the best on show and cutting straight to semi-finals and finals, we will create an immediate pressure to perform for athletes aiming to claim the title of the ultimate champion… We want it to look different, we want it to feel different, we want it to be showtime, we want it to be focused on attracting new audiences,” Coe said. 

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World Athletics has decided to stage this competition for the first time in Budapest, which previously hosted the 2023 World Championships. Although the location of the 2028 Ultimate Championship has not yet been determined, it has been hinted that Budapest might be selected once more.

 

Source: South China Morning Post

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