MONACO, April 19- Record numbers of athletes and nations are expected to compete at the IAAF World Championships this year, which will be held in Moscow between 10 to 18 August.
Preliminary entries received by the IAAF for the 14th edition of the Championships indicate that 205 of the 212 National Member Federations intend to participate in the Russian capital, with each of the six IAAF Area Associations extremely well represented.
The previous highest number of nations participating was 202 at the 1999 World Championships in Seville, Spain.
Initial entries of 1409 men and 1107 women have also been received.
Even taking into account the usual reduction in numbers between entries and final participants, the IAAF is optimistic that Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium will witness the biggest ever gathering of athletes for the sport’s premier event on its calendar.
The records for participation at previous Championships are: 1173 – men, 856 – women and 1894 – total.
The numbers of entries at the first World Championships in 1983 were: 877 – men, 458 – women and 1335 – total; which demonstrates amply how the sport has progressed at the very highest level in the last 30 years.
In Moscow, there will be more than 40% more athletes in action than there were in Helsinki back in 1983, and perhaps as much as 50% more.