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Following Olympic Postponement, 2021 Track And Field Worlds In Oregon Also Pushed Back A Year

By Chrös McDougall | March 30, 2020, 3:59 p.m. (ET)

Matthew Centrowitz competes at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials on July 10, 2016 in Eugene, Ore.


The U.S. will have to wait one more year to host its first track and field outdoor world championships following World Athletics’ announcement Monday that the 2021 event to be held in Eugene, Oregon, has been pushed back to 2022.

The track and field world championships is one of many international events that must now readjust their schedules following the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

The Olympic Games will now be held July 23-Aug. 8, 2021, the International Olympic Committee announced earlier Monday. That would overlap with the track and field world championships, which were scheduled for Aug. 6-15, 2021. World Athletics, the sport’s governing body that was formerly known as IAAF, did not provide dates for the rescheduled event.

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“Everyone needs to be flexible and compromise and to that end we are now working with the organizers of the World Athletics Championships in Oregon on new dates in 2022 for our World Athletics Championships,” a statement from World Athletics read.

One of the marquee sports at the Olympic Games, track and field hosted its first standalone world championships in 1976, though the first two editions featured limited programs. A full program was contested at the 1983 world championships in Helsinki, Finland, and that is now considered the first true world championships. Following subsequent events in 1987 and 1991, the world championships have been held on a biennial basis since 1993. The 2022 world championships will mark the 18th edition of the full event.

Although U.S. athletes have frequently led the medal table at the world championships, the 2022 edition will be the first to be held on U.S. soil. (A separate indoor world championships, first held in 1985, has been in the U.S. twice.)

The 2022 world championships are also notable for the venue, with the event set to be one of the first to take place in a fully renovated Hayward Field, the iconic track and field stadium on the University of Oregon campus. The stadium, which has also hosted the last three U.S. Olympic Team Trials in the sport (and was scheduled to host again in 2020), began reconstruction in 2018 and is scheduled to reopen this year.

Organizers are anticipating upwards of 2,000 athletes from more than 190 countries to take part in the 2022 world championships.

Chrös McDougall has covered the Olympic and Paralympic movements for TeamUSA.org since 2009 on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.