— Published 24 May 2023

Athletics goes short track

A small revolution, no less. At least in the terminology. World Athletics has announced that it intends to replace the traditional term “indoor” with “short track” in the near future, starting next season, to designate competitions organised on a 200m track, usually in an indoor venue. The idea has been put forward by the Council of the world athletics body. It is expected to be formally approved at its August meeting in conjunction with the 2023 World Championships in Budapest. World Athletics said the new name would allow “greater flexibility for 200m tracks, which could in future be built outdoors or on temporary sites in cities“. It states that performances on outdoor or temporary 200m tracks could then be recognised as official results for the purposes of records and ranking points. Sebastian Coe, President of World Athletics, commented: “This change is designed to remove an unintentional barrier to competition innovation, by offering organisers the chance to explore solutions and opportunities which the current rules may discourage. This change will actively enable and encourage a transition to outdoor 200m tracks, which will provide a more affordable solution for cities, particularly in areas where space may be at a premium.