From the World Athletics Championships in Budapest to a greater growth of athletic events in India, here are five reasons to be excited about athletics in 2023.
2023 is shaping up to be a promising year for athletics and lovers of the sport. From three global championships to as many as over 20 major domestic competitions scheduled in India, fans of athletics have a lot too look forward to.
Rivalries are set to be renewed, new battle lines are expected to be drawn and as athletes continue to push the boundaries of their respective sports both on and outside the track, there’s not a single reason to miss out on any of the fun.
With that being said, let’s take a greater look at the five biggest reasons to be excited about athletics in 2023:
World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023
The 2023 World Athletics Championships will be held between 19 and 27 August in the capital of Hungary, Budapest. More than 2000 athletes from over 200 nations are expected to take part in the world’s biggest track and field events at the World Championships in 2023.
This particular edition of the World Championships is taking place only 13 months since the previous edition, which is the shortest turnaround between two World Championships in history.
While it might take a greater stress on the athletes and their coaching staff who take part, it is inevitably a treat for the fans who don’t have to wait long to watch their favourite stars in action on the biggest stages.
Greater emphasis on Athletics in India
Building on from India’s great show in athletics at the Tokyo Olympics, obviously highlighted by Neeraj Chopra’s gold medal win, the sport continues to grow in leaps and bounds in the nation. 23 major domestic competitions have been scheduled throughout 2023 besides international meets like the Asian Games and the World Athletics Championships.
In fact, the 2023 Athletics calendar in India has already kicked off with with the National Cross-Country Championships in Assam on January 7. However, as far as track and field athletes are concerned, their first taste of action will arrive in March during the Open Throw and Jumps Competition.
There are four legs of the Indian Grand Prix scheduled between March and April in 2023. The first two will be held in Thiruvananthapuram while Bengaluru hosts the next two.
Meanwhile, javelin throw competitions will be held in all states of India on National Javelin Day on August 7 in order to commemorate Neeraj Chopra’s gold medal success.
The boundaries continue to be pushed further and further
There will be plenty of focus on Mondo Duplantis and Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone who were elected the World Athletes of the Year in 2022. Both the stars of their respective sports and aged just 23, Duplantis and McLaughlin-Levrone are continuing to push the boundaries of pole vault and hurdle sprinting.
Both of them are reigning Olympic and World champions and they have been setting and breaking records for fun recently and it will be interesting to see what newer heights 2023 has in store for them.
The emergence of new forces
Sport and athletics are always continually evolving. This is true for specific events as well. For instance, Kenya had been dominating the steeplechase for a long time, but newer forces are starting to emerge in that sport from Morocco, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan.
Similarly, women’s throws have become dominated by North American athletes while the Japanese are doing extremely well in men’s race walking. Similarly, it will be interesting to see how the existing landscapes continue to shift and change in 2023.
Plenty of sprint faceoffs
For lovers of sprint showdowns, 2023 has plenty of action. Gone are the days when the best sprinters of the world would often avoid facing off against each other on the track. Multiple world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, for example, will often line up against fellow Jamaican stars Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shericka Jackson. And 200m specialists Noah Lyles and Erriyon Knighton have clashed frequently in recent years. There are many more high-octane duels waiting to get us off our seats this year!