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World Athletics unveils new global championship to decide season's 'ultimate' performers

The tournament is named the 'World Athletics Ultimate Championship' and it aims to reach a broader audience.
Last Updated : 03 June 2024, 12:35 IST
Last Updated : 03 June 2024, 12:35 IST

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Monaco: The international athletics body on Monday launched a new season-ending championship that will offer a record prize money of $10 million and pit the world and Olympic champions and Diamond League winners against each other to decide the season's ultimate performers.

The tournament is named the 'World Athletics Ultimate Championship' and it aims to reach a broader audience.

Track and field sports global governing body World Athletics (WA) called it a 'groundbreaking' championship that will 'transform the athletics calendar and define which athlete is the best of the best.'

The championship, offering the the highest prize money in track and field history, will conclude the 2026 track and field season.

Budapest will host the inaugural edition from September 11-13 and the championship will be held every two years.

The gold medallists in the championship will receive USD 150,000.

"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," 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 and means track and field will host a major global championship in every single year, ensuring for the first time that athletics will enjoy a moment of maximum audience reach on an annual basis."

Taking place over three evening sessions, each under three hours in duration, the championship will showcase the best of athletics, including sprints, middle and long-distance races, relays, jumps, and throws.

Athletes will represent their national teams to ensure that 'individual success is underpinned by national pride'.

The apex body said athletes will "also benefit from greater promotional rights, allowing them to commercially activate and enhance their personal profiles."

Chosen following a competitive process – which saw interest from a number of major global cities – Budapest will welcome nearly 400 of the world's top athletes for the inaugural championship.

"By embracing innovation and breaking away from traditional models, we are looking to reach a broader audience, particularly younger fans, and elevate the entire sport," said World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon.

"There will be a strong focus on television audiences, with an aim to reach the biggest global audience possible."

"We also want to enhance the viewing experience, both at home and in the stadium, so we are looking at what new competition innovations can be introduced, all of which will be thoroughly tested in advance."

"We truly believe this will be a game changer for our entire sport." Budapest also hosted the World Championship last year.

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Published 03 June 2024, 12:35 IST

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