News24 Nov 2020

World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 – the highest quality championships of all time


General view of the Khalifa International Stadium during the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 (© Getty Images)

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has described the World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 as the best in history in terms of the quality and depth of performances produced by the athletes of more than 200 nations.

Speaking after the final evening session on Sunday (6), Coe noted that six championship records had been set, 43 countries had won medals, and athletes from 68 different nations had achieved at least one top-eight placing. There have been 21 area records – double the number from 2017 – and 86 national records have been broken, underlining the global reach of the sport.

“For those who follow our sport closely, you will know that we rank our championships on the performances of the athletes,” Coe said. “It is how we, the athletes and the coaches measure our success.

“The world’s athletes have put on the best show in the history of the World Athletics Championships, according to the competition performance rankings which are used as an objective measure of the quality of international competition.

“We are proud of the fact we reach more countries than any other sport,” added Coe. “Just look at the breadth and depth – 43 countries on the medals table and 86 national records set. We want our athletes to experience different cultures and different conditions. It’s what makes our sport so accessible.”

Top ranked World Championships

Based on the World Athletics competition performance rankings, used to rank the quality of competitions, the World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 tops the list of all World Championships to date.

Taking the best five results and athletes from the best 24 events (before tonight's finals), the top five editions are:

1. 2019, Doha – 195,869
2. 2015, Beijing – 194,547
3. 2017, London – 193,426
4. 2013, Moscow – 192,664
5. 2009, Berlin – 191,168

Based on the average scores of all track and field results, the top five editions are:

1. 2019, Doha – 1024.75
2. 2017, London – 1012.84
3. 1999, Seville – 1007.98
4. 2015, Beijing – 1004.78
5. 2009, Berlin – 1004.55

The championships have not just been about record-breaking performances, though. This edition will also be remembered for its close finishes, surprise winners, moments of fair play, and the arrival of the next generation of athletics stars.

USA’s 200m winner Noah Lyles and Germany’s decathlon victor Niklas Kaul became the youngest ever world champions in their respective events. Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh twice broke the world U20 record on her way to the silver medal in the high jump. She was one of several athletes born in or after the year 2000 who earned medals, along with Ethiopian duo Selemon Barega and Lemecha Girma and Bahrain’s Musa Isah.

The innovations – including light shows, new camera angles and increased engagement with athletes – have helped the sport reach a younger audience around the world.

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