MONACO (AP) — The track world championships were rescheduled for July 15-24, 2022, on Wednesday, the first major sports event to be repositioned in the wake of the 12-month postponement of the Olympics because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The event, which draws around 1,800 athletes from more than 200 countries, will still be held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, which was expanded and remodeled for the event that was originally supposed to take place in August 2021.
Instead of simply pushing back the worlds by a year, the new dates were chosen to coordinate with other major events set for 2022. The Commonwealth Games, which draws athletes from more than 70 countries in a wide array of sports, are scheduled for July 27-Aug. 7. The European track championships are set for Aug. 11-21.
“This will be a bonanza for athletics fans around the world,” World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said.
It will mark the first outdoor world championships held in the United States, and will be the first worlds to be held in an even-numbered year. They had been held in odd numbered years since they started in 1983.
The delay sets up track and field for a long stretch of yearly major events: The Olympics in 2021, worlds in 2022, then again in 2023 (in Budapest), followed by the Paris Olympics in 2024 and another world championships at a site still to be determined in 2025.
“It would offer athletics center stage at a very public point of the year,” World Athletics president Seb Coe said in an interview last month. “So let’s look at it from a slightly optimistic way of being able to punch our sport into the homes of many more people over a four-year consecutive cycle.”
Coe came under criticism when Eugene was awarded the event because of his ties to sportswear company Nike, which was founded there.