Countdown to Doha: Which countries are the most successful in World Athletics Championships?

Athletes like the USA's Phyllis Francis (centre) often dominate track events at the World Athletics Championships (PA Images)
Athletes like the USA's Phyllis Francis (centre) often dominate track events at the World Athletics Championships (PA Images)
22:55pm, Thu 26 Sep 2019
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The Doha clock is ticking and we await the outcome of the contests between the greatest  athletes in the world.

So, which nation’s women perform best at the World Athletics Championships? And in which events do certain nations perform best?

USA always lead the way on the track

When it comes to track events, the USA have long been the dominant force in World Championship Athletics.

Since the first championships in 1983, the Stars and Stripes have seen their female athletes collect 43 gold medals in events such as the 100 metres, 400 metres and even the 3,000 metre steeplechase.

The next most successful nation is Jamaica with 18 golds and their achievements have been due to athletes like Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Veronica Campbell-Brown.

As the chart shows, USA lead the way by some distance for track event gold medals

It is likely that these two nations will sweep up many of the gold medals on offer on the track because of people like Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson and America’s 400 metre defending champion Phyllis Francis, who continue to star in their respective disciplines.

African countries such as Ethiopia and Kenya also feature highly on the list of successful nations on the track with 13 and 12 gold medals respectively, due to their history in producing exceptional long distance runners.

Europe, on the other hand, has a relatively empty cabinet when it comes to track gold medals. 58 golds are shared across 17 countries, with Germany leading the way with 16 golds. Great Britain has only four in 36 years.

Russia rule the other medals, but it’s not going to be easy to predict

With events on the road and field, Russia are the country with the most gold medals. Their women have won eight gold medals on the road and 18 gold medals in field events such as pole vault and triple jump.

Looking at these numbers, you would think Russia would be nailed on to continue their supremacy in Doha but it is not as simple as that.

When looking at road events in particular, other nations such as Portugal and China are catching up. China have won the last two 20 kilometre events while Portugal’s Inês Henriques is the defending champion in the 50 kilometre walk.

On the field, a staggering 35 different countries have seen their women win gold medals and while Russia again steal the show with 18 golds, USA and Germany are close on their heels.

With the Russia doping scandal, which saw a new low this week over discrepancies in a lab database, affecting so many athletes and continuing to do so, it is difficult to see where their next medal even comes from. That opens the door for other nations to take the limelight.

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