News09 Dec 2021


Japan's first Olympic champion and New York City Marathon among seven new recipients of Heritage Plaques

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World Athletics Heritage Plaques have been awarded today (9) to seven recipients in Asia, Europe, NACAC and South America, across the categories of Competition, Culture and Legend.

The World Athletics Heritage Plaque, a location-based recognition, is awarded for “an outstanding contribution to the worldwide history and development of the sport of track & field athletics and of out of stadia athletics disciplines such as cross country, mountain, road, trail and ultra-running, and race walking.”

The programme was inaugurated by World Athletics President Sebastian Coe on 2 December 2018 and today’s announcement brings the total number of plaques worldwide to 71.

Category: Competition

Enschede Marathon

The 75th anniversary (2022) of historically one of the classic elite marathons of the pre-mass race era.

The Enschede Marathon is the oldest marathon in the Netherlands and Western Europe. At the first edition, in July 1947, 51 runners took part. Today there are almost 11,000 participants and the numbers are still growing.

Veikko Karvonen, Jim Peters, Ron Hill, Priscilla Welch and more lately Eliud Kipchoge are some of the big-name winners.

New York City Marathon

The 50th edition (2021) of the marathon which helped establish and define the worldwide mass race movement.

The first New York City Marathon took place in 1970 and was held entirely in Central Park. There were just 127 entrants and only 55 of them finished. By 2018 and the number of participants crossing the finish line was over 55,000.

Among the victors in the Big Apple have been Bill Rodgers, Douglas Wakiihuri, Paul Tergat, Grete Waitz, Ingrid Kristiansen, Mary Keitany.

Thames Hare & Hounds

Established in 1868. The oldest adult cross-country running club in the world. Based in Roehampton in southwest London.


The club was created by members of Thames Rowing Club at Putney who were looking for a way to keep fit during the winter. They staged three ‘Thames Handicap Steeplechases’ on Wimbledon Common between 7 December 1867 and 21 March 1868.

Out of these races, Thames Hare and Hounds emerged, staging its first run on 17 October 1868 in the form of a paperchase, a game which originated in Shrewsbury School in 1819.

Category: Culture

Galeria Olimpica RGM

A museum, established 1989 in Manaus, Brazil, which is dedicated to the Olympic collection of Roberto Gesta de Melo.

The RGM Olympic Gallery displays one of the largest and most varied collections of Olympic items in the world. These include official reports, awards, participation medals, books and documents, and torches, as well as uniforms and footwear of athletes.

L’Équipe 

Founded in 1946, the world-renowned French language daily sports newspaper has an unmatched reputation for outstanding written and photographic journalism.


The newspaper has its origins in the earlier publication L'Auto-Vélo. L’Equipe’s first editor was Jacques Goddet, one of the organisers of the Tour de France. As of 28 February 1946, the paper began as a three-times a week publication but since 1948 it has been a daily.

Royal Shrewsbury School Hunt

The sport of cross country running originated at Shrewsbury School in 1819 with the creation of the “paperchase” game across countryside.

The first surviving ‘Hound Book’ of the Royal Shrewsbury School Hunt, dating back to 1831, records the runs of the school’s hunt of that year. The most historic of these runs still raced today is the Tucks, a 5km course, the genesis of modern cross county running.

Category: Legend

Mikio Oda

The 1928 Olympic triple jump gold medallist, Japan’s first ever Olympic champion across all sports. In Amsterdam, Oda leapt 15.21m for victory.


In 1931, after graduating from Waseda University, Oda joined the Asahi Shimbun newspaper as a reporter. In that same year, he set a triple jump world record of 15.58m.
Oda’s name is commemorated at a track and field stadium as well as at the annual track meet in Hiroshima.

World Athletics Heritage