Day 238: 31 October

In line with this year’s UN Women theme #DigitalALL, World Athletics’ eLearning platform is empowering women from across the globe to participate in our sport

World Athletics has made gender equity one of its key strategic priorities for 2022-2030. As part of this priority, World Athletics wants to “build the pool and pipeline of talented female administrators, coaches and officials in Member Federations and across all areas”. This objective is no easy feat considering the differences in the geographic and socio-economic situations of many young aspiring female athletes and administrators across the world.

Read more

Day 237: 30 October

View more

Day 236: 29 October

Dafne Schippers, who won two world 200m titles and multiple other major medals during a highly successful sprinting and combined events career, has announced her retirement.

Along with her world crowns in 2015 and 2017, the Dutch 31-year-old claimed Olympic silver in 2016 and four other senior world medals – heptathlon bronze in 2013, 100m silver in 2015, indoor 60m silver in 2016 and 100m bronze in 2017.

Read more

Day 235: 28 October

View more

Day 234: 27 October

View more

Day 233: 26 October

The second episode in the ‘Official business’ podcast series features Claudia Schneck, a former international athlete for Brazil who has moved into the world of officiating.

The only woman international technical official in South America, Schneck is an advocate for female athletes moving into officiating roles following their retirement from competition.

Read more

Day 232: 25 October

View more

Day 231: 24 October

More than 200 leading figures from the world of athletics came together in Budapest on Thursday (24) for the gender leadership seminar ‘Moving Mountains: One step at a time’, hosted by ASICS.

World Athletics continues to take huge strides towards gender equity in the sport, which was an important part of the widespread reforms introduced in 2016. In her seminar welcome, Stephanie Hightower, who is Chair of the Gender Leadership Taskforce, outlined some of the key milestones in the work undertaken so far, but reiterated how there is still more to be done.

Read more

Day 230: 23 October

View more

Day 229: 22 October

When it comes to showcasing the heritage of women’s cross country running, nothing could be more fitting than the winner’s medal earned by the aptly-named Doris Brown Heritage on her trip to Barry, Wales, in March 1967.

World Athletics Heritage is delighted that Brown Heritage has generously donated her historic prize to the Museum of World Athletics (MOWA). In winning it 55 years ago, she became the first official women’s international cross country champion.

Read more

Day 228: 21 October

Think of the World Athletics Championships over four decades without conjuring memories of Allyson Felix’s record 14 gold medals, Yulimar Rojas’ hattrick of triple jump titles, Jackie Joyner-Kersee’s astonishing heptathlon and long jump double, or Tirunesh Dibaba’s historic 5000m-10,000m double.

The World Championships would be a poor imitation of what it has become without the remarkable performances of these and many other female athletes. For the celebration of 40 years of the World Athletics Championships this year is also a celebration of the march towards gender equality for women in athletics.

Read more

Day 227: 20 October

One Race At A Time
by Julien Alfred.

I was 12 when my dad passed away.

"When I lost him, I also lost the motivation to keep running. I couldn’t keep going. It wasn’t until my coach, Cuthbert Modeste, came to my community and school looking for me that I eventually returned to the track.

"He saw a potential in me that I still hadn’t recognized, and even if a small part of me thought I could be something in this sport, I was grieving and my family was struggling. It’s hard to see past that as a child. So, honestly, if he didn’t come back for me, I don’t know if I’d be where I am today.

"St. Lucia national record-holder, Commonwealth Games medalist, Big 12 Indoor and Outdoor champion, NCAA champion, 8x All-American, 3x National Athlete of the Week, getting named to The Bowerman Watch List … At times, it’s even unbelievable to me that I have such honors to my name."

Read more

Day 226: 19 October

View more

Day 225: 18 October

Initially launched on International Women's Day 2021 with the ambition of making substantial gains in eliminating gender bias in athletics, our #WeGrowAthletics campaign has already made notable strides in fulfilling or initiating all of the pledges we have made in the last 24 months.

This list provides an update on each of the 2021 and 2022 pledges’ progress and implementation.

Read more

Day 224: 17 October

When she casts her mind back to the evening of 10 February 2008, Susanna Kallur is not entirely satisfied with her 60m hurdles performance at the BW-Bank Meeting in Karlsruhe. “I still think my start could have been a little bit better,” she concedes.

At the time, 15 years ago now, the Swede was at the top of her high hurdles game. “I felt unstoppable,” Kallur reflects. “The feeling then was just magic. It felt like my body just ran by itself.”

That night in south-west Germany, despite her less than fully perfect start, Kallur flew over the five barriers in her path to a world indoor record for the 60m hurdles: 7.68.

Read more

Day 223: 16 October

View more

Day 222: 15 October

In February of this year, Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone 
appeared in an ESPN ‘This is SportsCenter’ commercial in the United States. ESPN, the US cable sports channel that reaches around 76 million households, began this commercial series in 1994 with sports stars at the forefront. Tiger Woods, Michael Phelps, Roger Federer and Lebron James are a few athletes that have been profiled.

And now Olympic champion, world champion and world record-holder in the 400m hurdles, McLaughlin-Levrone, has been added to the series roster. This, for good reason, caught the attention of athletics fans. Seldom do track and field athletes make it into the mainstream in US media and it is even more rare that women have been given such opportunities. But after McLaughlin-Levrone’s sensational performance at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22, and with this year’s global event in Budapest on the horizon, her mainstream marketability has been realised in a big way.

Read more

Day 221: 14 October

The third episode in the ‘Official business’ podcast series features Lisa Ferdinand, an international starter based in Canada who has started some of the sport’s biggest races. 

This podcast series is presented by athlete and Athletics Ireland Women in Sport manager Lilly-Ann O'Hora and Vicky Huyton, coach and founder of the Female Coaching Network, as they interview some of the women involved in officiating.

In this episode,
Ferdinand shares her experiences of being a starter and explains how her journey began, and why.

Read more

Day 220: 13 October

View more

Day 219: 12 October

By Aleia Hobbs:

"The call came last June. It was my partner’s mom, who knew of a woman who’d just given birth to a child she didn’t want to keep, a child she couldn’t care for."

"Hey, there’s a baby in the hospital. He doesn’t have a mother, would y’all want him? I know you guys have been wanting a baby."

"My partner and I sat down and talked about it, thinking it over. Then we came to a decision."

"Yeah, we do want him."

"The baby’s mother had left him in the hospital. Didn’t sign the birth certificate or nothing. He was two months early, and was in the NICU, or neonatal intensive care unit, for about four weeks. I had to leave during that time as the track season was getting started, and he finally made it home last July, right before I had to leave for Europe.

"The whole time, I couldn’t wait to get back to him."

Read more

Day 218: 11 October

Just four days after running the indoor 400m in less than 50 seconds – clocking 49.96 in Metz to go fourth on the all-time list – Femke Bol arrived in Lievin for the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting with the expectation of running something even faster.

After winning by more than a second in 50.20, she said: “This is a good race I can be happy with. I hoped to run a 49-second race again. But this is the real world, not a dream world.”

Fast forward four more days – very fast forward – and the 22-year-old 400m hurdles specialist was in that dream world, coming to terms with the staggering fact that she had just beaten the oldest track world record on the books.

Read more

Day 217: 10 October

The Importance of Inclusive Leadership in Improving Gender Equity in Sport
Governance by Professor Leanne Norman - Director of the Centre for Social Justice in Sport & Society, Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University, UK.

"In the last few years, we have lived through globally extraordinary times. We have (or still are) experienced a global health crisis, economic upheaval, digital and technological transformations, and a significant rise in social justice issues (The Centre for Creative Leadership, 2020). This has led to a fundamental shift in how we work.

"Sport cannot escape these changes, and nor should we want to. For decades, and even centuries, sport has been primarily a male-space; an activity that has celebrated and promoted values such as strength, athletic prowess, and authority, and typically associated these with men. In this time, while sport participation has somewhat equalised between men and women, our coaching and leadership levels tend to still be conceived in a masculine image or preserved for and by, men. But the tide is changing, and a greater rise in athlete activism is evidence that not only is it time to re-imagine how we participate and govern sport, but our athletes demand it.

"Rather than just being focused on ‘what’ we win and ‘how’ much, we need to revisit ‘why’ our sport is so important and focus on valuing our people that lead it. In achieving a more diverse and representative sport that is purpose-led, it demands inclusive sport leadership. As part of this, sport leaders need to understand the enormous benefits that will be realised by making sport a more gender equitable place to work.

"Our research here in the Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University, UK, evidences that women leaders represent some of the most motivated, engaged, able, and skilled members of our potential sport workforce (Norman, Didymus, & Rankin-Wright, 2016). Athletic national federations must do more to nurture and attract such talent in order to grow and modernise as organisations."

Read more via the Empowering Women in Athletics group on Facebook

Day 216: 9 October

Leading figures share their thoughts on gender equity in athletics, voicing their views on the barriers for women reaching top leadership levels and giving their advice for other women in high performance sport.

Read more

Day 215: 8 October

For Emma George, it was just another high-flying routine. First, at the Australian national indoor competition in Adelaide on 26 March 1998, the former childhood trapeze artist soared over 4.50m. In doing so, she became the first female pole vaulter to achieve the feat indoors, 11 months after she had been the first to clear the mark outdoors.

Then, when the bar was raised to 4.55m, George cleared that too.

At the start of the day, the world indoor record for the rapidly-developing women’s pole vault had stood at 4.48m, established 16 days previously at Sindelfingen in Germany by Stacy Dragila, a one-time rodeo rider from Auburn, California, and equalled in the same meeting by Daniela Bartova, a former Olympic gymnast from the Czech Republic.

In one afternoon, George had improved it twice, making a 7cm advancement in total. “I definitely feel more confident that it will survive for longer than the one I set last month,” she said.

Read more

Day 214: 7 October

View more

Day 213: 6 October

The first episode in a new podcast series focusing on athletics officials features Helen Roberts, an international technical official from Australia with almost 30 years of experience.

As a former athlete, a coach and an official, Roberts’ journey has taken her from the club scene all the way to the Olympic Games.

Read more

Day 212: 5 October

For Haruka Kitaguchi, there is no shortage of motivational fuel as she looks to the road ahead in the aftermath of her dramatic last ditch golden throw in the women’s javelin final at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23.

Haruka Kitaguchi in the javelin at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23


Struggling all night to find the rhythm and technique that took her to a world lead of 67.04m at the Silesia Diamond League meeting on 16 July, the 25-year-old Japanese thrower unleashed a mighty sixth round effort of 66.73m to propel herself from fourth to first.

In doing so, the beaming Kataguchi earned a place in the track and field history books as the first Asian athlete to claim the women’s javelin crown, snatching the gold from the inspired 32-year-old Colombian Flor Denis Ruiz Hurtado, who led from round one with a 65.47m area record.

Read more

Day 211: 4 October

Professor Grazia Maria Vanni was the first female technical delegate in Italy. She is a coach, a former FIDAL Lombardy Regional Committee President and the current FIDAL Vice President.

She gives a critical overview of the main barriers to women in coaching and focuses on the five key points to overcome gender bias.

Read more via the Empowering Women in Athletics group on Facebook

Day 210: 3 October

Perina Lokure Nakang has found a new lease on life thanks to the World Athletics U20 refugee programme and now the 20-year-old is getting ready to take another big stride in her running career as part of the Athlete Refugee Team (ART) at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23.

Nakang, who is now based in Kenya, has been able to pursue athletics and continue her education following support from the World Athletics programme, in partnership with the African Higher Education in Emergencies Network (AHEEN) and Youth Education and Sports (YES). Following the Athletics+Education model, it involves the Kakuma/Kalobeyei refugee camps and the All4Running Shoes4Africa Secondary School in Kapsabet, which are all part of the same programme.

Read more

Day 209: 2 October

She was born Wincatherine Nyambura Ndereba, in rural Kenya in 1972. In the United States they called her Catherine the Great, and the true greatness of Catherine Ndereba was clear for the world to see when she hit the familiar incline of Heartbreak Hill, six miles from the finish of the 2005 Boston Marathon.

That day, 18 April, approaching 18 years ago now, had been a tough one for the three-time Boston winner. Playing catch up from the fifth kilometre, Ndereba found herself 80 seconds down on leaders Nuta Olaru and Elfenesh Alemu at the halfway point.

Digging deep – the strain of the effort, as ever, shaded from the world by her regulation sunglasses – she gradually ate into the deficit. The Romanian Olaru faded, and at the foot of Heartbreak Hill Alemu glanced nervously over her shoulder to behold Ndereba in dogged pursuit.

By the top of the climb, the Ethiopian Alemu had been caught by Ndereba, the Kenyan with the reputation for always finishing her marathons formidably strong.

Alemu held on for the next mile but consecutive miles of 5:24, 5:23 and 5:19 gave Ndereba the cushion to take her to victory by almost two minutes.

After crossing the finish line in 2:25:13, Ndereba dropped to her knees in silent prayer. “I always felt I could close the gap once I started pushing the pace,” she said. “Towards the finish I felt just great.”

Read more

Day 208: 1 October

Adriana Vilagos wins Female Rising Star at the World Athletics Awards 2022.

View more