World Indoor Athletics Championships – What They Are and How Difficult it is to Qualify

Admin/ March 18, 2022/ Indoor Sports

Whenever there is a high-level international sports event, the best athletes gather to compete. Making it to the tournament as a competitor is a feat in itself, not to mention getting to the top 10, 5, or even winning at the tournament. 

Tournaments such as these are difficult to qualify for. Any international tournament is. In football, the competition is very hard, and no matter which continent, national teams have problems qualifying, every time there is a tournament. For example, Nigeria also had a rough time qualifying for AFCON the last time around, and no matter the team’s history and prestige, qualifying periods are tough.

In individual sports such as athletics and track and field, it can be even tougher. Take track and field and the World Indoor Athletics Championships, a biennial event that is the peak of indoor athletics.

Like most international tournaments, qualifying has some requirements, yet they still seem to all but the ones invested in athletics and track and field sports.

Here is more about the World Indoor Athletics Championships.

The World Indoor Athletics Championships – A Short Overview

Like most sports, track and field, specifically indoor track and field, have their own tournaments. In this case, the peak of international competitions, other than the Olympics, are the World Indoor Athletics Championships. 

The tournament was first held in Paris, 1985, though under a different name, which was almost immediately changed for the following event, in 1987. It was always a biennial tournament, except when it was held consecutively to mismatch it from the World Athletics Championships, which is an outdoor event. 

The indoor variant has similar events which you would see in the outdoor one, but different, in a sense. The following events are included: 60m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 60m hurdles, 4x400m, high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump, shot put, heptathlon for men and pentathlon for women. All the other events are available for both men and women.

Qualification Standards – How Does One Qualify?

Every international tournament has some standards that the athletes must meet if they want to qualify. Qualification is based on a couple of things for individual events. The first is to achieve the entry standard on World Athletics tournaments. This must be met in order to compete.

Other ways to qualify include being the previous season World Indoor Tour winner or among the top ranked World Tour athletes. However, this falls under the Wild Card clause of qualifying which is always secondary to the entry standards. 

There are many factors which are important for qualification, from where the races were held and in which condition, to how the time was measured. Applications are reviewed by World Athletics prior to the tournament. 

There are limitations for the number of athletes competing, for example, 56 for the 60m race and 12 for combined races. These numbers can refer to teams or individuals, depending on the event.

Is the Event Popular?

Most track and field events aren’t as popular as some sports, football or basketball to name a couple, but they get decent coverage when international tournaments are on. The most attention track and field gets is at the Olympics, followed by the World Indoor and Outdoor Athletics Championships, the Indoor one being less popular.

However, the event is the peak of the sport, and as such, is where most indoor track and field athletes want to compete.


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