IAAF World Championships qualification

Ever wondered how an athlete qualifies for the IAAF World Championships? Then read our quick guide to understand their journey to London.

21/02/2017 00:22


How individuals can qualify

There are FOUR ways for individuals to qualify for the IAAF World Championships in London:

1. Achieve the entry standard (see below table) within the set qualification period. The qualification period for the 10,000m, marathon, race walks, relays and combined events is between 1 January, 2016 and midnight 23 July, 2017. All remaining events are between 1 October, 2016 and midnight 23 July, 2017. 
2. Athletes who achieve a certain finish at designated competitions. In many cases for individual events these will be at Area Championships (such as the European Championships) and must be confirmed by national federations. Athletes can also achieve entry through designated IAAF competitions for the 10,000m, Combined Events, 20km Race Walk, 50km Race Walk and the Marathon.
3. Reigning IAAF World Champions, 2016 IAAF Diamond League and Hammer Throw Challenge winners can be offered wildcard entries. Each country can only have one wildcard entry per discipline.
4. As one of the best ranked athletes at the end of the qualification period to fill the remaining athlete quota, if it is unfilled. This does not apply to the 5000m, 10,000m, marathons and race walks.


Entry Standards Table

National federations have the right to make individual entry standards tougher than those established by the IAAF

How Relay Teams qualify

Relay teams can qualify in TWO ways:

1. Automatic qualification is granted to the top eight finishers at the 2017 IAAF World Relays (IWR) in Nassau, The Bahamas.
2. As one of the best ranked teams, provided results have been achieved in compliance with IAAF rules.


Each country may enter three athletes per individual discipline. Wildcard entries (as per above) can enable countries to enter four individual athletes to an event.

IAAF members with unqualified athletes may enter one male or female athlete into selected events. Members whose best athlete excels in an unselected event may submit the athlete to the IAAF for adjudication.

The Host Country may enter one unqualified athlete/relay team into an event, with the exception of combined events or field events.