The indoor athletics stadium is set to undergo a name change to Short Track by World Athletics, with the formal approval expected in August. This will result in the 200m track being built outdoors instead of the usual 400m track, which could lead to a world record being achieved.
The reason for the change, according to a press release by World Athletics, is due to the increasing difficulty in maintaining the separation between outdoor and indoor competitions. This has become particularly relevant with the rise of modern athletics and the emergence of hybrid competition venues such as city squares, shopping malls and train stations. The elimination of segregation in some field events has been necessary to achieve world records.
World Athletics president Seb Coe believes the name change offers a “global opportunity” for tournament organizers. This change will provide more affordable options for cities that are limited on space while also encouraging growth in the sport through investment in new infrastructure.
Although major indoor championships will continue, short track events may be held outdoors in areas with no or limited indoor facilities. The results of these events may count towards qualifying for those indoor championships. The next World Indoor Championships will take place in Glasgow, Scotland in March.