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2023 World Athletics Championships

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Record-Breaking Success: The 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest

In a historic moment for athletics, the 2023 World Athletics Championships held in Budapest shattered records, leaving an indelible mark on the sport's history. This exceptional event showcased outstanding athletic performances, record-breaking viewership, and a lasting impact on the world of athletics.

Global Viewership Soars

The world was captivated by the magic of the Budapest World Athletics Championships, with television broadcasts achieving unprecedented ratings both internationally and domestically. Preliminary calculations even suggested that Budapest might surpass the viewership records set during the 2017 World Championships in London, potentially reaching over one billion viewers worldwide.

Interest in the event was truly global, with varying levels of enthusiasm across different regions* 

• Europe demonstrated a strong passion for athletics, as 15.6% of the population following the event via any media.

• Latin America showed remarkable interest, with 12.4% of the population following the event via any media.

• Middle East and Africa displayed notable interest, with 11.3% of the population following the event via any media.

• The Asia Pacific region, known for its sports enthusiasts, recorded an interest of 10.6%.

• North America, although less engaged compared to other regions, still had a respectable 4.7% of its population following the championships.

*(Figures % of the internet population 16-64 years old in 52 major countries | Interest = follow via any media)

National Image and Marathon Route

Budapest's national image reached new heights during the event, as millions of viewers around the world were treated to breathtaking views of the city while following the marathon route. This picturesque backdrop added to the event's allure and showcased Budapest's charm to a global audience.

Digital Realm Records

The championships also made waves in the digital realm. The official website experienced an influx of nearly one million daily visitors during the first seven days, breaking previous records. The live results platform on the website gained popularity, with traffic more than doubling on the first day compared to previous events. During peak times, the website received over 400.000 requests per minute and up to 14 million per hour.

Over the nine days of the championships, a staggering 14.000 news articles were published, reaching a global audience of 28.5 billion. The event was covered extensively, with over 1.200 accredited broadcast personnel from 46 broadcasters and 850 accredited media and photographers from 75 countries.

Social Media Milestones

The event's social media platforms achieved remarkable milestones, surpassing 11 million followers during the championships. This demonstrated the power of digital engagement and the global fanbase that athletics commands.

Athletic Excellence

The 2023 World Athletics Championships featured a record total of 2.100 athletes from 195 countries, including the Athlete Refugee Team. These athletes competed before more than 400.000 ticketed spectators from 120 countries, resulting in numerous records, including one world record, one world U20 record, seven championship records, 11 area records, and 73 national records.

The competitions were filled with drama, particularly in field events, where 13 athletes across eight events recorded their best marks in the final round to claim victory, with five of them winning gold medals. Key athletes like Noah Lyles, Sha’Carri Richardson, Faith Kipyegon, Femke Bol, Alvaro Martin, Maria Perez, and others emerged as multiple title winners.

Global Audience and Gender Profile

The global audience for the Budapest World Athletics Championships was diverse, with 58% being male and 42% female. This balanced gender profile demonstrates the broad appeal of athletics, with fans from all backgrounds coming together to celebrate the sport.

Top 5 Countries in Terms of Interest

Among the top 5 countries with the highest interest in the event, Greece took the lead, followed by Sweden, Poland, Kenya, and Norway. These nations demonstrated a passionate commitment to athletics, with fans eagerly following the championships. Belgium also secured a respectable 12th place in terms of interest, reflecting a growing interest in the sport within the country.

A Legacy for Athletics

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe praised the event's success, highlighting the innovations incorporated into the championships, including athlete recognition, branding across the city, and a clear sustainability vision. Plans are underway to create a permanent World Athletics center of coaching excellence in collaboration with the Hungarian government and institutions like the Hungarian University of Sport Sciences. This center aims to provide world-class coaching and conduct research in various sports-related fields.

In a historic moment, the newly elected gender-equal World Athletics Council held its first meeting in Budapest, with Colombia's Ximena Restrepo becoming the first woman to take on the role of Senior Vice President to Coe.

The 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest will be remembered not only for its exceptional athletic performances but also for its record-breaking viewership, diverse global audience, and the enduring impact it has had on the world of athletics. It has set a new standard for outdoor World Championships, leaving a legacy that will inspire athletes and fans for years to come.

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