The World Athletics Council has selected Tallahassee, Florida, to host the 2026 World Athletics Cross Country Championships, while also selecting Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium to host the 2025 World Athletics Championships and awarding the 2025 world cross country championships to Croatia.
The announcement was made during the 228th World Athletics Council Meeting in Oregon ahead of the 2022 world championships that will be in Eugene starting Friday.
The staging of the 46th cross country championships in Tallahassee in 2026 adds to the roster of world events scheduled for the United States and is part of World Athletics’ ambition to become a top five sport in the U.S. by 2028, the year of the Los Angeles Games. The event was last in the U.S. in 1992 when Boston hosted the race; New York staged the event in 1984.
“Tallahassee, Florida, is beyond excited to have been chosen to host the 2026 World Athletics Cross Country Championships,” said Visit Tallahassee Executive Director Kerri Post. “Over 10 years ago we set out to build a premier cross country facility and create a new event standard to drive more athlete participation, attract more spectators and fans, and expand the visibility and viability of the sport of cross country. The World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee will rival the largest athletics competitions around the world and leave a lasting footprint on the sport. We are honored and grateful to World Athletics for the opportunity to host this prestigious event and look forward to welcoming the world to Florida.”
The 2025 World Athletics Championships will see the sport return to the venue that hosted last year’s Olympic Games, in the year that the Japanese Association of Athletics Federations celebrates its centenary year. In 2025, Tokyo will have the opportunity to fill its stadium with fans who were denied the opportunity to attend the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games due to pandemic restrictions.
“We are immensely proud that World Athletics has demonstrated its confidence and trust in Japan to host the 2025 World Athletics Championships,” JAAF President Mitsugi Ogata said. “Together with World Athletics as one team, we will capitalize on this opportunity to showcase the best possible global event for growing our sport to a higher level. History has shown that we have the ability and energy to host the world’s top athletes and to inspire international audiences. We promise that the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo will be full of fans to become an unforgettable experience for the athletes and everyone involved.”
The other candidates were Nairobi, Silesia and Singapore. Tokyo scored the highest of the four candidates in the bid evaluation across four focused areas: the potential for a powerful narrative; revenue generating opportunities for World Athletics; a destination that will enhance the international profile of the sport; and appropriate climate.
“Within an extremely strong field of candidates to host the World Athletics Championships 2025, Tokyo offered a compelling bid,” World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said. “I hope this will be a shining light for Japan as they celebrate 100 years of the Japanese Association of Athletics Federations in 2025, by bringing world-class athletics back to the people in Tokyo.”
Croatia in 2024 will have Medulin and Pula as co-hosts for the cross country world championships.
“We are thankful to World Athletics for the trust shown and now it is up to us in the next 18 months to present Croatia, Istria, Medulin and Pula, and the World Cross Country Championships, at the highest possible level,” said Croatian Athletics Federation President Ivan Vestic. “In 2002, the best Europeans ran in Medulin and now, in 2024, the world’s best athletes will run on the most beautiful cross track in the world.”