World Athletics Championship 40 year anniversary: TDK is one of the oldest sponsors

July 26, 2023


This year marks the 40th anniversary of the World Athletics Championships. Since the first event in 1983, this international sporting competition has brought together some of the finest athletes from across the globe, showcasing remarkable feats of strength, speed, and endurance. This is an opportune moment to celebrate the history of the championships and acknowledge those who have played a significant role in its success, including TDK, the oldest sponsor of the event.

A Brief History of the World Athletics Championships

First held in Helsinki in 1983, the World Athletics Championships have evolved into a truly global event. Over the past four decades, these championships have hosted 18 editions, each featuring top-tier athletes vying for the honor of being crowned world champions. The competition has progressively become more inclusive and diverse, symbolizing the universal appeal of athletics.

TDK: A Longstanding Partner

TDK has played a crucial role in this event as its oldest sponsor. This support has been instrumental in fostering the global recognition and success that the World Athletics Championships enjoys today. TDK support highlights include giving a special award to every world record for men’s competition, placing TDK’s logo on men’s bibs, and the pitch board with TDK’s logo including the backboard of 100m run starting line.

40 Years of Progress: Reflecting on the Journey

From the launch in 1983 to the present day, the World Athletics Championships has made significant strides. The championships have not only elevated athletes to professional status, but also moved toward gender equality, enhancing the universal appeal of athletics.

Iconic Moments and Legendary Athletes

The World Athletics Championships has been the stage for many monumental athletic achievements, etched forever in the annals of sports history. Many memorable achievements have been made throughout the years.

Tiina Lillak’s Javelin Triumph (1983)

At the inaugural event in Helsinki, Tiina Lillak of Finland emerged victorious in the javelin, creating a memorable moment in athletics history. Her triumph on home soil continues to inspire athletes today.

Carl Lewis’ Relay World Record (1983)

During the inaugural Helsinki event, Carl Lews of the United States of America won gold in not one, but three events: 100m, long jump, and 4X100m. Not only did he accomplish multi-gold status with outstanding track and field skills, but, his 37.86 in the latter set a world record.

Haile Gebrselassie’s 10,000m Reign (1990s)

The 1990s saw the Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie dominate the 10,000m race, with his remarkable consistency and formidable stamina earning him multiple victories.

Sergey Bubka’s Pole-Vaulting Legacy (1997)

During the Athens games in 1997, Ukrainian athlete Sergey Bubka won his sixth pole vault title. This win further cemented his status as a record-shattering pole-vaulter.

Usain Bolt’s Sprint Dominance (2009)

The 2009 championships in Berlin witnessed Usain Bolt of Jamaica complete a stunning sprint double. His unparalleled speed, agility, and charisma won him worldwide fame.

Mondo Duplantis’s Record-Breaking Pole Vault (2022)

In 2022, Mondo Duplantis soared above the competition, setting a new world record in the pole vault. His awe-inspiring performance in Oregon remains a testament to human potential in athletics.


The 40th anniversary of the World Athletics Championships presents a valuable opportunity to honor its past while envisioning its future. Through their commitment to honoring the past and planning for a more diverse and inclusive future, WA (World Athletics) continues to embody the spirit of athletics: resilience, determination, and ceaseless progression.

About TDK

TDK is a comprehensive electronic components manufacturer founded in 1935 to commercialize ferrite, an electromagnetic material.
TDK has been an Official Partner of World Athletics Championships since the first competition held in Helsinki in 1983.