IAAF Hall of Fame

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Paavo Nurmi (Paris 1924) .jpg
Jesse Owens 1936.jpg

The Finnish long-distance runner Paavo Nurmi  (left) and the US sprinter and long jumper Jesse Owens were among the first twelve appointed members of the IAAF Hall of Fame in 2012.

The IAAF Hall of Fame is a virtual hall of fame established in 2012 by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). International athletes who are no longer active and who have distinguished themselves through special achievements in their careers are accepted. The admission is considered the highest honor of the international athletics federation.


Federal Archives Image 183-1984-0402-025, Marita Koch.jpg

The former long jumper and sprinter Heike Drechsler  (left) and her former teammate Marita Koch were the first German athletes to be accepted in 2014.

The establishment of a “Hall of Fame” was announced on March 8, 2012 - one day before the 14th World Athletics Championships in Istanbul - by Lamine Diack , President of the IAAF. In the same year the international athletics federation celebrates its 100th anniversary and the XXX. Summer Olympics held in London . The IAAF Hall of Fame had been planned for a long time and, according to Diack, should not only honor the achievements of the best athletes, but also raise public awareness of the sport and its history. The first twelve members named were Jesse Owens , Abebe Bikila , Paavo Nurmi , Carl Lewis , Emil Zátopek , Al Oerter , Adhemar da Silva , Edwin Moses , Fanny Blankers-Koen , Betty Cuthbert , Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Wang Junxia . Twelve more athletes have been named before the official inauguration ceremony during the IAAF Centenary Gala on November 24, 2012 in Barcelona . Twelve more athletes were accepted in November 2013.

The specially established IAAF Hall of Fame Selection Panel , chaired by the US IAAF Senior Vice President Bob Hersh, is responsible for selecting the athletes . This includes athletics experts and long-time members of the Association of Track and Field Statisticians (ATFS). Hersh himself was a long-time member of the ATFS.

No new members have been appointed since 2014. The German high jumper Ulrike Nasse-Meyfarth refused entry into the Hall of Fame in 2015 because of the scandal surrounding former IAAF President Lamine Diack .

Criteria for inclusion

The IAAF originally set the minimum criteria that a track and field athlete should have won at least two Olympic gold medals or world championship victories during their active time. Athletics competitions for men have been part of the program since the first Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 , and for women since the IX. 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam . World Athletics Championships have been held since 1983 ( open air ) and 1985 ( indoor ). Potential candidates should also have originally set at least one world record. Athletes who have ended their careers for at least ten years are accepted.

Starting in 2013, an annual admission of up to four athletes was originally planned. In fact, twelve new members were appointed in mid-November 2013.

According to the IAAF, the strict criteria for the first selection in 2012 will be extended from 2013 to include athletes who have achieved exceptional importance in the history of athletics without major medals. In November 2013, the first female athletes without an Olympic victory ( Grete Waitz ) or without a world record ( Marie-José Pérec ) were included.

Members of the "IAAF Hall of Fame"

So far, athletes from the United States (14 athletes) have been recorded most frequently, followed by athletes from the former Soviet Union and today's Ukraine (seven athletes). There are 17 women among the 48 athletes enrolled so far. 32 of the 48 members started in running competitions.

48 members (as of November 11, 2014)
Surname country discipline
Year of admission
World title
(open air + hall)
World records
(outdoor + indoor)
Iolanda Balaș RomaniaRomania Romania high jump 2012 1952-1967 2 - 14th First woman over six  feet . Remained undefeated in 140 competitions from 1957 over a period of more than ten years. At the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome , she jumped 14 cm higher than the runner-up, the biggest advantage so far in a women's high jump competition at the Olympic Games or World Championships.
Abebe Bikila EthiopiaEthiopia Ethiopia marathon 2012 1957-1969 2 - 2 First African to win an Olympic gold medal and first athlete to repeat his Olympic marathon victory.
Fanny Blankers-Koen NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands Sprint ,
hurdles ,
high jump,
long jump ,
2012 1934-1953 4th - 12 Known as the "flying housewife". Is considered to be the "first great figure in women's athletics".
Sergei Bubka Soviet UnionSoviet Union Soviet Union , Ukraine
Pole vault 2012 1975-2001 1 10 35 First pole vaulter over 6.00 m.
Valery Brumel Soviet UnionSoviet Union Soviet Union high jump 2014 1960-1965 1 - 6th
Sebastian Coe United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Middle distance run 2012 1973-1990 2 - 12 So far the only athlete who briefly (for about an hour) held all world records over the middle distance.
Betty Cuthbert AustraliaAustralia Australia sprint 2012 1956-1964 4th - 16
Glenn Davis United StatesUnited States United States Hurdles, sprint 2014 1956-1960 3 - 2 First 400 meter hurdler in under 50 seconds.
Mildred Didrikson United StatesUnited States United States Hurdles,
javelin ,
high jump
2012 1930-1932 2 - 4th
Harrison Dillard United StatesUnited States United States Sprint,
2013 1942-1956 4th - 18th The only Olympic athlete to win both the 100-meter run and the 110-meter hurdles. Remained undefeated in 82 consecutive competitions from 1947 to 1948.
Heike Drechsler Germany Democratic Republic 1949GDR German Democratic Republic , Germany
long jump
2014 1981-2004 2 4th 15th The only long jumper who could repeat her Olympic victory.
Hicham El Guerrouj MoroccoMorocco Morocco Medium,
long distance running
2014 1994-2004 2 7th 6th
Vladimir Golubnichi Soviet UnionSoviet Union Soviet Union Go 2012 1955-1976 2 - 2
Marjorie Jackson AustraliaAustralia Australia sprint 2013 1949-1954 2 - 13
Michael Johnson United StatesUnited States United States sprint 2012 1986-2001 4th 8th 8th First athlete to win the world championship title in the 200 m and 400 m. First person to run the 400 m under 45 seconds in the hall.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee United StatesUnited States United States Heptathlon ,
long jump
2012 1980-2000 3 4th 7th First female athlete to surpass 7,000 points in the heptathlon.
Alberto Juantorena CubaCuba Cuba Sprint,
middle distance run
2012 1971-1985 2 0 2 So far the only Olympian to win gold in both the 400 and 800 meter races.
Kipchoge Keino KenyaKenya Kenya Long distance running 2012 1958-1973 2 - 2 First African athletics world record holder on the track.
Marita Koch Germany Democratic Republic 1949GDR German Democratic Republic sprint 2014 1975-1986 1 4th 33 First female 400-meter runner in under 49 seconds and reigning world record holder over this distance since 1985.
Hannes Kolehmainen FinlandFinland Finland Long distance running 2013 1907-1928 4th - 6th First " flying Finn ". First 5000 meter runner under 15 minutes.
Robert Korzeniowski PolandPoland Poland Go 2014 1990-2004 4th 3 1 First walker to be victorious in both short and long distance Olympics. Three-time Olympic champion in a row on the long distance.
Stefka Kostadinova BulgariaBulgaria Bulgaria high jump 2012 1980-1998 1 7th 3 Was defeated only once in 54 consecutive competitions between 1984 and 1989. Won all major international championships and successfully jumped over 2.00 m 197 times, more often than any other high jumper before her.
Carl Lewis United StatesUnited States United States Sprint,
long jump
2012 1979-1997 9 8th 12 Besides Al Oerter, the only Olympian who was victorious in four consecutive games in one discipline (long jump)
Natalia Lisovskaya Soviet UnionSoviet Union Soviet Union Shot put 2013 1981-1992 1 3 3 Reigning world record holder since 1984, achieved the four longest strokes so far.
Jānis Lūsis Soviet UnionSoviet Union Soviet Union Javelin throw 2014 1962-1976 1 - 2
Svetlana Masterkova RussiaRussia Russia Middle distance run 2013 1988-2000 2 1 2
Bob Mathias United StatesUnited States United States Decathlon 2014 1948-1952 2 - 2 Up to then the youngest athletics Olympic champion and the first decathlete to repeat his Olympic victory.
Noureddine Morceli AlgeriaAlgeria Algeria Middle distance run 2013 1988-2000 1 4th 7th
Edwin Moses United StatesUnited States United States Hurdles 2012 1975-1988 2 2 4th Nine years, nine months and 22 days - in 122 races - in the 400 meter hurdles between 1977 and 1987 without a defeat.
Paavo Nurmi FinlandFinland Finland Long distance running 2012 1912-1932 9 - 22nd With 9 gold and 3 silver medals won between 1920 and 1928, the most successful athlete in Olympic history to date.
Dan O'Brien United StatesUnited States United States Decathlon 2012 1983-1998 1 3 3
Parry O'Brien United StatesUnited States United States Shot put 2013 1949-1968 2 - 10 Remained undefeated in 116 competitions between July 1952 and June 1956. Founder of a back kick or planing technique named after him as well as the first shot put over 60 feet (18.29 m).
Al Oerter United StatesUnited States United States Discus throw 2012 1955-1986 4th 0 3 First Olympian to win four consecutive games in one discipline.
Jesse Owens United StatesUnited States United States Sprint,
long jump
2012 1933-1936 4th - 6th First long jumper over 8.00 m. Set four world records in 80 minutes at a sporting event in the United States in 1935.
Marie-José Pérec FranceFrance France sprint 2013 1988-2000 3 2 0 First and so far only female athlete to repeat her 400-meter Olympic victory
Wilma Rudolph United StatesUnited States United States sprint 2014 1956-1952 3 - 5
Viktor Saneyev Soviet UnionSoviet Union Soviet Union Triple jump 2013 1964-1980 3 - 3
Yuri Sedych Soviet UnionSoviet Union Soviet Union Hammer throw 2013 1973-1991 2 1 6th Acting world record holder since 1984, achieved the three longest throws so far.
Adhemar da Silva BrazilBrazil Brazil Triple jump 2012 1947-1960 2 - 5 First triple jumper over 16.00 m.
Peter Snell New ZealandNew Zealand New Zealand Middle distance run 2012 1954-1965 3 - 12
Shirley Strickland de la Hunty AustraliaAustralia Australia Sprint, hurdles 2014 1947-1956 3 - 9 First hurdle sprinter to repeat her Olympic victory.
Irena Szewińska PolandPoland Poland Sprint,
long jump
2012 1960-1980 3 - 10 So far the only male and female athlete who could set world records in the 100 m, 200 m and 400 m.
Daley Thompson United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Decathlon 2013 1976-1992 2 1 4th The only decathlete who held the Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth Games titles at the same time. Was unbeaten in 26 competitions between 1978 and 1987.
Let Virén FinlandFinland Finland Long distance running 2014 1971-1980 4th - 3
Grete Waitz NorwayNorway Norway Long distance running 2013 1971-1988 0 1 10 First female marathon runner under 2:30 hours, first female marathon world champion and nine-time winner of the New York City Marathon . Cross-country world champion 1978–1981 and 1983, unbeaten in cross-country races for twelve years.
Wang Junxia China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China Long distance running 2012 1991-1996 1 1 3 Dubbed a “running miracle”, Wang dominated the distances from 3000 m to the marathon in 1993.
Cornelius Warmerdam United StatesUnited States United States Pole vault 2014 1940-1948 0 - 11 First pole vaulter over 15 feet and 15 years of world record holder.
Emil Zatopek CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia Czechoslovakia Long distance running 2012 1940-1957 4th - 18th First athlete to cover more than 20 km (20.052 km) under one hour (59: 51.8 min). Olympic champion 1952 over 5000 m, 10,000 m and in the marathon.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d IAAF President's Message ( memento of August 20, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) at iaaf.org (PDF file, English; accessed on September 22, 2012).
  2. IAAF Council Meeting, Monaco, November 14 - NOTES: IAAF Hall of Fame - 12 legends to be inducted at iaaf.org, November 14, 2013 (accessed August 7, 2014).
  3. Nasse-Meyfarth refuses admission to the Hall of Fame of Athletics sports.yahoo.com November 7, 2015
  4. a b Minimum Criteria of Membership at iaaf.org (PDF file, English; accessed on September 22, 2012).
  5. ^ Fanny Blankers-Koen . In: Internationales Sportarchiv 12/2004 from March 20, 2004, supplemented by news from MA-Journal up to week 26/2012 (accessed via Munzinger Online ).
  6. Wang Junxia . In: Internationales Sportarchiv 09/1994 of February 21, 1994, supplemented by news from MA-Journal up to week 26/2012 (accessed via Munzinger Online ).