Athletics-World Athletics to create new 'short track' concept to evolve indoor events

FILE PHOTO: Athletics - World Athletics Indoor Championships - Stark Arena, Belgrade, Serbia - March 18, 2022 The president of World Athletics Sebastian Coe at the World Athletics Indoor Championships REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel/File Photo

(Reuters) - The concept of 'short track' competition will be introduced to replace the current term 'indoor' in the setting of 200 metres tracks to incorporate hybrid competition venues like temporary city locations, World Athletics said on Tuesday.

The governing body's council is supporting the new term to allow for greater flexibility as it has become increasingly difficult to maintain the traditional separation between outdoor and indoor athletics.

"Under this new concept, the 200m short track will no longer be confined to the indoor environment, and a world of opportunities will open up for meeting organisers to stage official competition in whatever facilities they have available," World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said in a statement.

"This change will allow and actively encourage the possibility for 200m tracks to move to an outdoor environment and will provide a more affordable option to cities, especially where space is in short supply, while stimulating the growth of the sport through investment in new infrastructure," he added.

With the new term, performances set on outdoor or temporary 200m tracks will therefore be eligible to be recognised as official results for the purpose of records and rankings regardless of the environment in which they are conducted.

Indoor championships will continue to exist but 'short track' championships could be held if there are no or very limited indoor facilities, being their equivalent, and could be used as qualifying competitions for major indoor championships.

This innovation will be formally approved at the World Athletics Council meeting in August in Budapest.

(Reporting by Angelica Medina in Mexico City; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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