The IAAF World Relays will head to Europe for the first time in 2021, with the Polish region of Silesia confirmed as host of the fifth edition of the biennial event.
The competition will take place on 1-2 May 2021 in Chorzow’s Silesian Stadium which is also the venue for the last European Athletics Classic Permit Meeting of this summer, the Karolina Skolimowska Memorial Meeting on 14 September.
Poland has long history and proven track record of hosting both continental and global athletics competitions.
Most recently, earlier this month, the 2019 European Athletics Team Championships Super League was staged in Bydgoszcz – with Poland’s ‘City of Sports’ having also staged the 2003 and 2017 European Athletics U23 Championships – and the 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships are scheduled to take place in Torun.
Bydgoszcz also hosted the inaugural IAAF World U18 Championships in 1998 as well as two editions each of the IAAF World U20 Championships and IAAF World Cross Country Championships in little more than a decade while Sopot staged the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships.
The 2021 IAAF World Relays will take place on a striking blue track installed by European Athletics’ Green Inspiration Partner Mondo, their Superflex Super X720 product.
Mondo installed the track when the Silesian Stadium, known locally as the Stadion Slaski and which was opened in 1956, underwent renovations two years ago. It is an IAAF Class 1 Certified Athletics Facility and the second-largest athletics stadium in Poland with an official capacity of 54,378.
It will mark the fourth time in five editions that the IAAF World Relays will have been held on a Mondo Superflex Super X720, as the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium in the Bahamian capital Nassau, which staged the first three editions, had exactly the same surface.
Poland will undoubtedly be anticipating some triumphs on home soil in 2021 as the country has a very strong record in relay events at recent international championships.
At the 2018 European Athletics Championships and 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships their women took the 4x400m titles while their men’s 4x400m team set a world indoor record en route to taking gold at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018.
“We have been blessed with wonderfully enthusiastic crowds at every edition of the World Relays and we are confident that the people of Silesia will provide another lively atmosphere, said IAAF President Sebastian Coe.
#StadionŚląski oficjalnie został ogłoszony organizatorem Lekkoatletycznych Mistrzostw Świata Sztafet, które odbędą się 1 i 2 maja 2021 roku!
Decyzję w tej sprawie podjęło @iaaforg @PrasoweSlaskie @PZLANews
Foto: @Press_Focus pic.twitter.com/acHtPi6yWp
— Stadion Śląski (@StadionSlaski) August 28, 2019
“Poland is one of our most active member federations and has a deserved reputation for delivering excellent athletics events and attracting big crowds, so I’m delighted that we will be bringing another of our World Athletics Series events there in less than two years from now.”
Jakub Chełstowski, the Marshal of the Silesian Voivodeship, added: “The IAAF World Relays will be a great opportunity to see the best runners, but also to inculcate passion for sports among children. In such activities the sports ambassadors of the Silesian Stadium such as Anita Włodarczyk, Justyna Święty-Ersetic and Ewa Swoboda are supporting us. It will also be a wonderful opportunity to promote the Silesian Voivodeship as a region that is worth visiting.”
The 2021 IAAF World Relays will be used as a qualifying competition for relay teams aiming to compete at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Oregon 2021, which will provide even more incentive for European Athletics Member Federations to send teams to Chorzow.