Article Source: World Athletics Indoor Championships
Last Updated: 5 February 2024 11:11
Images: Mark Gibson Digital
Taking place from 1-3 March this year, the World Athletics Indoor Championships will be held at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow and will feature over 700 athletes as they compete across 26 events, aiming to come out victorious across and secure a coveted medal, with up to 108 medals being awarded (allowing for up to 6 in a relay team).
The pinnacle of every athlete’s career is to stand on the podium at a major championship and be presented with a unique medal, one that recognises and reflects the magnitude of their achievement at the highest level.
Although this is the 19th edition of the Championships, this is the first time the event has been held in Scotland and this is reflected in the design of the medal, which incorporates the thistle inspired event brand, complemented by a selection of well-known Glasgow landmarks around its outer rim, giving athletes a little piece of Glasgow to remember their triumph, long after they leave the city.
Event organisers launched an open call last summer, giving Scottish artists the chance to submit their designs in a bid to become a part of history. Winning artist, Graeme Clark, from Edinburgh is proud to see his illustrations transformed into a stunning creation that will be presented to all the medallists.
Speaking about his design and inspiration, Graeme said: “As a man from Edinburgh, I’ve always enjoyed trips through to Glasgow for various exhibitions, gigs, and shopping. It’s a city full of culture and serves as a great creative inspiration for designers like me.
“It’s also a place full of inspiring talent and iconic architecture. I’ve worked with many Glaswegian brands over the years and the city always seems to birth amazing things. The city has a lot of iconic monuments and structures, that served as the inspiration for the design.”
Bailie Annette Christie, Chair of Glasgow Life who co-ordinated the design competition said: “When we issued a callout to the Scottish craft and design community, we knew the standard of submissions would be high, but we were hugely impressed with the quality of the response.
“While we had a tough decision to make, Graeme’s design stood out as the clear winner, and we are delighted to be able to create a medal that incorporates so much of Glasgow’s iconic skyline and has a distinctly Scottish feel.
“Glasgow is proud to be hosting one of the biggest sports events in Scotland this year, and I can’t wait to see the medals presented at the Championships next month. I am sure the winning athletes will all treasure the small part of Glasgow they take home with them.”
The medals have been produced by specialist manufacturer Toye, Kenning and Spencer who have produced a range of high-quality championship medals including the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, where the company is based in the city’s Jewellery Quarter. In addition to the gold, silver and bronze editions a pewter coaches medal has been made to recognise the coaches of the winning relay teams.
Amongst the first to set eyes on the medals were young athletes from the team that represented Glasgow at the European City Challenge last October, as well as Shettleston Harriers and Victoria Park Glasgow Athletics Club. They were given a sneak peek, by event Ambassador, World and Olympic medallist and European champion, Eilidh Doyle, prior to attending the official opening of the Museum of World Athletics (MOWA) exhibition that is being staged at the St Enoch Centre in Glasgow from now until the end of the Championships.
Eilidh Doyle said: “As an athlete it is always exciting when the medals are revealed as you know the championships are getting close, so it creates a real buzz. And when you see them for real, it really makes you want one sand spurs you on that little bit more.
“The medals are all quite different, and it is great to see a strong Scottish and Glasgow theme on this one, creating a sense of place, for the championships that will be remembered.”
Joining Eilidh as MOWA guests of honour, Scottish athletics legends, 1980 Olympic 100m champion Allan Wells, and 1993 World Athletics Indoor champions Yvonne Murray-Mooney (3000m) and Tom McKean (800m) were also on hand to see the medals and inspire the youngsters, as all four presented precious articles of competition kit to go on display in the exhibition.
The latest Museum of World Athletics (MOWA) heritage exhibition marks the staging of the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24 (1 to 3 March 2024) and celebrates over 170 years of indoor track and field athletics history.
Designed to encourage everyone to feel a part of the World Athletics Indoor Championships, whether they have a ticket to attend or not, the one-month long MOWA exhibition features World Athletics Heritage’s collection of indoor athletics competition artefacts dating from the 1880s. The displays contain clothing, shoes, equipment, trophies, and medals donated by more than 30 world champions and/or record breakers.
The exhibits are supported by giant wall graphics, text, photographs, and videos which take the visitor on a journey from the world’s first ‘indoor’ meeting in 1849 to the present day.
Appropriately, given the exhibition’s location, the displays have a distinctly Scottish feel. As well as the competition items which the guests of honour provided at the opening ceremony, running spikes from Scottish world champions Liz McColgan (Tokyo 1991) and Jake Wightman (Oregon 2022) are also being exhibited.
Life-sized photographs of Scotland’s two Olympic 400m champions Wyndham Halswelle (London 1908) and Eric Liddell (Paris 1924) adorn the windows and walls of the exhibition. Greeting visitors at the entrance is a large photograph of Laura Muir winning the first half of a 3000m / 1500m double at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow in 2019.
As usual, stunning video material is incorporated into the displays including highlights of past editions of the World Athletics Indoor Championships and a cinematic edit of the Birmingham 2018 edition. For the first time in a MOWA exhibition is an experimental touch screen via which visitors can select videos from a small initial library of clips from past championships.
Usual MOWA favourites such as giant pole vault and high jump graphics set at their current world indoor record heights, and a colourful display of national athletics singlets, also feature in the Glasgow exhibit.
The MOWA Indoor Athletics Exhibition Glasgow 24 on the ground floor of the St Enoch Centre, 55 St Enoch Square, Glasgow G1 4BW, is open daily to the public from 11am to 6pm from Saturday 3 February, closing on the final day of the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24 on Sunday 3 March.
Joining MOWA at St Enoch on the first floor is Commonwealth Games Scotland staging the Team Scotland Exhibition celebrating 10 years on since the incredible success the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
With the city preparing to host a festival of world class sport, members of the public are encouraged to visit the exhibitions throughout the month of February to soak up the atmosphere of the competition, with both events free to attend and easily accessible from key transport hubs and official hotels in the heart of the city.
Attending the event and looking forward to the Championship, Wellbeing Economy Secretary Neil Gray said: “The World Athletic Indoor Championships offers Glasgow – and Scotland – a further opportunity to shine on the world stage and showcase our reputation for hosting and delivering major international events.
“From the thistle-inspired medals to the warm welcome which will be extended to athletes and spectators coming from across the globe, I have no doubt that a successful and uniquely-Scottish event will be taking place in March, one which will inspire a new generation of young people to join their local athletics clubs and perhaps become the future stars of Team Scotland.”
Ian Beattie, Chair UK Athletics said: “Every athlete competing in Glasgow will dream of winning a medal, and it is fantastic to see that those who are successful will have such a stunning memory of their achievement.
“As the event gets nearer the excitement is increasing, and I know the Glasgow crowd will create an electric atmosphere within the arena that will support the world class Scottish and British athletes to perform at the highest level.”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland Director of Events, said: “Glasgow and Scotland will provide the perfect stage as the final countdown begins for next month’s 2024 World Athletics Indoor Championships at Emirates Arena.
“Events play an important role in our communities, giving us all the opportunity to come together and share memorable experiences. Both the MOWA exhibition and the Team Scotland exhibition will give both visitors and locals the chance to delve into 170 years of athletics history as well as reflect back on the fantastic memories from 10 years ago when Glasgow took centre stage for 2014 Commonwealth Games.”
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