Ed Moses lifts the IAAF World Cup in 1979 () © Copyright
Iaaf News

The original IAAF World Cup – IAAF Heritage

One of the centrepieces of the IAAF Heritage World / Continental Cup – 1977 To 2018 – Exhibition, which will open in the Czech city of Ostrava on 5 June and run until the last day of the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 on 9 September, is one of the two original IAAF World Cup trophies.

This silver trophy was awarded to the winning men’s team – the women’s World Cup trophy has been remodelled and is now the IAAF Continental Cup – at the 10 editions of the IAAF World Cup in Athletics that were held between 1977 and 2006.

The trophies were traditionally kept by the winning teams and then returned to the IAAF just before the subsequent World Cup. This trophy was last won by the European men’s team in 2006 but has not been exhibited in public for more than a decade.

The World Cup trophies were unique insofar as they were the only team trophies awarded by the IAAF for a stadium-based athletics competition until that competition was supersede by the IAAF Continental Cup in 2010.

The cup design was very much emblematic of the 1970s and the prevailing creative influences of that era: simple and intended to resemble a goblet or artefact that might be awarded to an athletics victor in ancient times.

The victorious European team at the 2006 IAAF World Cup (Getty Images)The victorious European team at the 2006 IAAF World Cup (Getty Images) © Copyright


The trophy was deliberately created to be an iconic but recognisable structure rather than an abstract sculpture, reflecting the fact that the name of the competition was the World Cup.

The importance of the World Cup trophy itself was that it celebrated the overall winners of the competition rather than individual event winners as well as deliberately trying not to emulate the Olympic Games ritual of awarding medals to the top three in an event.

Engraved around the base of this trophy are the names of the winning men’s teams from each edition of the World Cup. Accompanying this trophy is a miniature replica of the IAAF World Cup.

The IAAF Heritage World / Continental Cup – 1977 To 2018 – Exhibition is kindly supported by the International Athletics Foundation, ASICS, Seiko, TDK and Mondo and is delivered by IAAF Heritage along with the Czech Athletics Federation and the LOC of the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018.