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Athletics

World Athletics Ultimate Championship set to take place in Budapest in 2026

The newly announced biennial event will carry a record-setting prize pot of US$10 million, with gold medallists set to receive US$150,000.

World Athletics Ultimate Championship set to take place in Budapest in 2026
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By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 3 Jun 2024 1:47 PM GMT

World Athletics, on Monday, announced the launching of a new championship - the World Athletics Ultimate Championship, with the inaugural event taking place in Budapest, Hungary, from September 11 to 13, 2026.

The biennial event will carry a record-setting prize pot of US$10 million, the largest ever offered in the history of track and field athletics, with gold medallists set to receive US$150,000.

The newly planned event will trounce the other biennial event - the World Athletics Championships - as the biggest athletics showpiece in the world.

The season-ending World Athletics Ultimate Championship will exclusively feature the 8-16 of the world's top-ranked athletes in each discipline in a three-day event, with the world championships, Diamond League winners, Olympic gold medallists and the year's best-performing athletes earning direct entry.

A total of 400 athletes from about 70 countries will take part in the event.

The event will be taking place over three evening sessions, with each session packed with semifinals and finals for track disciplines and straight finals for field disciplines.

“With only the best of the best on show and cutting straight to semifinals and finals, we will create an immediate pressure to perform for athletes aiming to claim the title of the ultimate champion,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe.

“The World Athletics Ultimate Championship will be high on action and excitement for fans, setting a new standard for track and field events. Featuring athletics’ biggest stars, it will be a must-watch global sports event and means track and field will host a major global championship in every single year, ensuring for the first time that athletics will enjoy a moment of maximum audience reach on an annual basis,” he added.

“Budapest is truly honoured to be the inaugural host city for the highly innovative World Athletics Ultimate Championship. Having successfully hosted the 2023 World Athletics Championships, recent World Aquatics Championships, major UEFA events and many more, Budapest is ready to deliver again,” said Balazs Furjes, IOC member for Hungary and previous co-leader of the World Championships organising committee.

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