But Did You Know? World Championship Distance Event Progression (Track)

But did you know there used to be a 3000m at the World Track and Field Championships? Indeed! Here is a quick summary of how distance events longer than 1,500m progressed at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships:

Men
1983 - featured 3,000m Steeplechase, 5,000m, 10,000m, and Marathon
There have been no changes in event offerings since the inaugural Worlds back in 1983.

Women
1983 - offered 3000m and Marathon.
1987 - 10000m event added
1995 - 3000m replaced with 5000m
2005 - 3000m Steeplechase added, marking the first World T&F Champs that women had the same Distance offerings as Men

The historical progression of the longest distances offered on the track and in cross country is an interesting and important topic to examine. An aspect that is not often highlighted, but has always baffled me, is the 3,000m to 42,195m gap established at the first global Athletics championships. I wonder, what rationale was used by our sporting leaders to cap the track races at 3,000m for women vs. 10,000m for men that simultaneously allowed racing over 42,195m?

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