In exactly 300 days, on May 1, 2021, the Silesian Stadium in Chorzów will be the host of the WORLD ATHLETICS RELAYS SILESIA21. It is a global event which will be the Olympic qualification for the Tokyo Games. Poland has not seen such a competition yet.
The World Athletics Relays will be organised for the fifth time in history. The first three editions were held in the Bahamas, the fourth in Japan. It will be the first time that the World Relays will be held in Europe.
Today the official countdown begins. Time is measured by a specially constructed clock placed next to the Silesian Stadium. Also today we present the official World Athletics Relays Silesia21 logo. The logotype is in the colours of Silesia, which, arranged in parallel stripes, form the outline of an athletics track.
"The Silesian Voivodship focuses on sport, and athletics is particularly important to us. I am glad that more and more people are talking about the Silesian Stadium and our region as their athletics home. And we want it to be a home open to guests from all over the world. The World Athletics Relays Silesia21 will be the first event of this importance in our region. But our aspirations are much greater – after all, we are trying to get the European Championships, we want the World Championships at the National Athletics Stadium. Therefore we realise that the World Athletics Relays Silesia21 must be perfectly organised. They will be perfectly organised! I really wanted the logotype of the competition to refer to our region. And here the colours of Silesia are going out into the world today!” said the Marshal of the Silesian Voivodship Jakub Chełstowski.
The approach of the regional authorities and the fact that the Silesian Stadium is located here – the facility is modern and very well appreciated by athletes from all over the world – has had a significant impact on the decision of World Athletics to award hosting of the competition to Poland.
“The organisation of the World Athletics Relays Silesia21 is a great challenge but also a great stimulus. We are working hard. We treat each competition at the Silesian Stadium as a testing ground before May next year. The first athletic event of this year – the opening of the season – has already taken place. There are two more major meetings ahead of us: the Janusz Kusocinski Memorial and the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial. We want these to be our final rehearsals before World Relays. We will introduce the official procedures required by World Athletics. In fact, the athletics board will visit the Silesian Stadium and check the state of preparations. I am convinced that everything will go smoothly,” said the president of the Silesian Stadium Jan Widera.
The organization of the World Athletics Relays is part of the region's long-term development strategy. The region has been spending its money on sport for years, knowing that it is an investment for the future.
“We have a saying in Poland, maybe it's a bit old-fashioned: sport is health. That is why we are funding sport for children and young people with so much commitment. We want our society to breathe fully and be physically fit. We also want to set an example to these young people, for them to be inspired by professionals, by the stars of world sport. It is often the case that one big event in a young person's life can be a spark that ignites enthusiasm for later activity. The World Athletics Relays Silesia21 is an excellent opportunity to see great athletes from all over the world live,” said the Silesian Regional Assembly councilman, Bartłomiej Kowalski.
The World Athletics Relays Silesia21 will take place two and a half months before the Olympic Games. For athletes from all over the world it is an extremely important competition. It is in Chorzów that you will be able to compete for a pass to Tokyo. This promises that a plethora of sprint stars will appear at the Silesian Stadium.
“The World Relays Silesia21 is an extremely important event for me and my "Angels". Firstly, it will be the Olympic qualifications, secondly, the last test of the relay race before going to Tokyo, and thirdly - we are defending the gold from the previous edition in Yokohama – it will therefore be a big sports challenge. It is also a great opportunity for the remaining Polish relay teams to qualify for the Olympics. We are expecting a lot of cheering – and that is always very motivating. In my opinion, the Silesian Stadium is the best-looking facility in Poland, so I look forward to this competition all the more,” said the coach of the Polish 4x400m relay, Aleksander Matusiński.
Due to the pandemic, World Athletics Relays Silesia21 will be the first competition organised by World Athletics in an open stadium since October 2019, when the World Athletics Championships were held in Doha, Qatar. It will also be the only stadium competition staged by World Athletics next season.
The organiser of the World Athletics Relays Silesia21 is the Silesian Voivodeship and the Silesian Stadium.