World Athletics Championships moved to avoid Birmingham 2022 clash

09 Apr 2020

By: Sport Industry Group

The World Athletics Championships in Oregon have been rescheduled and will avoid a clash with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The championships were scheduled to take place in August 2021, but were moved to accommodate the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, which have been postponed for a year.

The new event will take place between 15-24 July in 2022 which ensures there will be no clash with the Commonwealth Games, due to take place between 27th July - 7th August 2022.

The new schedule will prevent a direct conflict between both the Birmingham Games and the European Championships in Munich, and World Athletics says that, with careful programming, athletes will be able to compete in all three competitions should they choose to do so.

"This will be a bonanza for athletics fans around the world," said Sebastian Coe, President, World Athletics.

"They will be treated to six weeks of absolutely first-class athletics. More than 70 of our Member Federations are part of the Commonwealth and more than 50 of our Member Federations are European so our guiding principle in rescheduling the World Championships was to ensure enough space was created around the centrepiece World Athletics Championship for athletes to choose other major events to compete in. We were also very mindful that we did not want to damage the other major championships in 2022, because they are also very important to our sport.

"We believe we have found a solution that will allow athletes who are eligible for the other two events to compete in them with the Commonwealth Games Federation planning to stage the athletics programme towards the end of their event. This will showcase our sport to its best advantage in the circumstances and we will continue collaborating with all competitions on the detailed programming.

"We would not have chosen to have three major championships back-to-back but it will give us a unique opportunity to promote our sport and its stars around the globe over a six-week period.

"I want to particularly thank Oregon 21 LLC and all its stakeholders for their collaboration and flexibility as well as all World Athletics’ partners and broadcasters who are so critical to delivering the Games and taking it into the homes of millions of fans."

Niels de Vos, Executive Director, World Athletics Championships Oregon 22, said: "I should like to thank Oregon’s stakeholders for committing so early to the postponement, allowing maximum flexibility on dates for our friends at World Athletics, just as they have been flexible with us in ensuring our plans can remain on track despite the 12-month postponement. Oregon 22, as we must now get used to calling it, will be kickstarting a global festival of international track and field championships in the summer of 2022 that will be a fantastic experience for athletes and fans alike."

Louise Martin, President, Commonwealth Games Federation, said: “I would like to thank the leadership of World Athletics for a hugely constructive approach to working with the CGF. Our collective objective has been to ensure that, in this unprecedented time of global upheaval in all our lives, as well as its impact on the international sports calendar, the interests of athletes are at the centre of all decision-making. We will continue to work together to create space within our schedules to provide athletes with the opportunity to safely compete to the best of their abilities at multiple world class events."

Meanwhile, World Athletics has also announced that the qualification period for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has been suspended until after 30 November 2020. Following consultation with its Athletes' Commission, Area Presidents and Council, World Athletics says qualification will begin again on 1st December 2020 subject to the global situation.