The 2nd IAAF World Championships in Athletics Rome 1987
As you remember our last story was about the first ever IAAF World Championships, held in Helsinki, Finland. Well lets move forward four years to the 2nd IAAF World Championships.
On 29 August ~ 6 September 1987, the 2nd IAAF World Championships made its way to the ancient city of Rome. It had been four years since the inaugural even held in Helsinki, Finland. In terms of participation, there weren’t too many differences between the first and second World Championships. Helsinki brought in 1,572 athletes from 153 Member Federations while Rome brought in 1,451 athletes from 159 Member Federations. But it was the number of spectators that greatly differed from a respectable 322,402 spectators at Helsinki to an impressive 518,000 in Rome.
Poster & Mascot of the IAAF World Championships Rome 1987
In Addition to increased spectator participation, the Event saw a large increase in the number of television viewers. During the 1st IAAF World Championships, the event received approximately 1.3 billion views on television while in 1987 the viewership jumped to over 2 billion people!
There were many differences between the two broadcasts, but the main had to be the difference between black & white broadcasts and color. In 1983, the majority of television owners were only able to see the event in black and white, but it was the Rome Event that broke the mold and first broadcasted the event in natural color.
“Stadio Olimpico” The Largest Stadium in Rome
The Event was held in Rome's the largest stadium, the “Stadio Olimpico.” This venue was constructed in 1910 under the original name of “Stadio dei Cipressi,”and held this name until the late 1930’s, when it was then changed to “Stadio dei Centomila”, and the venue then received its current name “Stadio Olimpico” in 1960, after hosting the 17th Summer Olympic Games.
The 1987 World Championships hosted one of the most anticipated athletics duels in athletics history, as USA’s Carl Lewis and Canada’s Ben Johnson sprinted for the gold in the Men’s 100m. At the time of the event Johnson powered past Lewis taking both the Gold Medal and the World Record, breaking Lewis’ 9.93 with a time of 9.83. But if you look into the athletics history books you will find Carl Lewis’ name as the victor. Why is this?
USA’s Carl Lewis and Canada’s Ben Johnson
One year after the 1987 World Championships, Ben Johnson competed in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games earning the gold medal and setting a new World Record of 9.79s in the Men’s 100m. It was after this race that a doping test came up hot. The Canadian hero tested positive for anabolic steroids. Johnson then later admitted that he had also used the same drug in Rome at the 1987 IAAF World Championships when he had beat Carl Lewis. After this information was released, Johnson was stripped of his title and the award was given to Carl Lewis.
The Daegu 2011 Organizing Committee is working tirelessly to ensure that the IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011 is a “clean” event, and to host the first doping violation free event since 1983.
Click here to visit our preparations for hosting a ‘clean’ World Championships