News28 Feb 2008

Sensational record gathering of 159 nations makes Valencia by far the biggest ever World Indoor Champs


Valencia WIC logo (© c)

28 February 2008MonteCarloThe 12th IAAF World Indoor Championships, Valencia, Spain which will take place 7 to 9 March 2008 will be the biggest ever multi-national gathering in the history of these championships by a huge margin of 20 IAAF Member Federations!

A staggering total of 159 nations have entered athletes to compete on the newly laid competition surfaces of the Palau Velodromo Lluís Puig in Valencia next month. The next biggest gathering of Federations for these championships was in 2004 in Budapest, Hungary, when a total of 139 delegations took part.

Considering that the IAAF World Indoor Championships, after the Olympic Games and the World Championships in Athletics, are the biggest global event in the sport, the news of Valencia’s record participation figures gives an enormous additional boost to an event which is already a spectator sell-out.

With four World indoor records, subject to ratification, having already fallen this winter season, its clear that the 12th IAAF World Indoor Championships, will be one of the most keenly contested global competitions of recent years.

Ahead of Beijing 2008, the sporting world will also be keenly focused on the action and results in Valencia for indications of possible form and fitness as the same participants will also provide much of the cast list for the Olympic Games in China this coming August.

The World Indoor Championships, which were first contested under the guise of the World Indoor Games in Paris in 1985 when 69 nations took part, attracted 129 nations for their last edition in Moscow in 2006. Behind the record numbers that gathered for ‘Budapest 2004’ (139), ‘Lisbon 2001’ was previously the next largest championships (136), and ‘Birmingham 2003‘, the third best (133).