Big numbers for Beijing
The IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 could potentially be the biggest world championship in the 15 editions of the event, which started in 1983 and ranks among the world's leading sports events.
With one week to go, final entries indicate that 207 IAAF member federations will send representatives to the Chinese capital for the most important sporting event of the year.
The previous highest number of participating federations was 203, at the last championships in Moscow two years ago.
No less than 1,936 athletes (1043 men and 893 women) have been entered.
SLIGHTLY LESS NUMBERS
Although the number of athletes that will finally participate in Beijing will be slightly less, as is normal, this figure still compares favourably with the current highest total of 1895 who competed at the 2009 championships in Berlin.
The numbers have been boosted by the IAAF's innovative system introduced ahead of these championships of inviting athletes who had not already been entered by the deadline of midnight (Central European Time) Monday, August 10, on the basis of them being among the best ranked in their event (apart from in long distance and walking disciplines) in order to bring an event up to an optimum number of competitors as established by the IAAF.
The IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015, is expected to set the standard for the sport's future championships, with the world's best athletes going through their paces in the same magnificent Bird's Nest stadium that was the centrepiece for the 2008 Olympic Games.
As already announced, the Bird's Nest stadium will be full for all the evening sessions across the nine days with an audience of 50,000 spectators.