Competition artefacts from multiple world champions Kenya’s Hellen Obiri (singlet) and USA’s Dan O’Brien (singlet and bodysuit) are among the historic items inducted into the World Athletics Heritage Collection which is displayed on the online 3D platform of the Museum of World Athletics (MOWA).

Entering MOWA along with Obiri’s 2023 Boston Marathon winning singlet are artefacts from two Olympic marathon champions, USA’s Frank Shorter, Munich 1972 gold medallist (t-shirt) and Italy’s Athens 2004 winner Stefano Baldini (pair of shoes). The previously announced donation of fellow Italian, 1984 and 1985 New York City Marathon winner Orlando Pizzolato goes on display in MOWA too.

The annual MOWA intake also sees the 1991 World Championships outfits of decathlon world record breaker O’Brien joined by treasured items from World Athletics Council Member Sylvia Barlag, who set a heptathlon world best in 1979 (trophy and two pairs of spikes).

Selfless generosity

The artefacts from two 2023 world champions go on exhibit, Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon (spikes), the 1500m and 5000m victor in Budapest, and USA’s Grant Holloway (singlet and spike shoe) who won his third world 110m hurdles title in the Hungarian capital.

There are further gifts from two bronze medallists, Hungary’s Bence Halasz (hammer throw glove) and USA’s Joe Kovacs, the two-time world champion shot putter (singlet).

The generosity of all donors to our museum knows few bounds.

On Saturday 26 August, in the mixed zone in Budapest’s National Athletics Centre, immediately following her 5000m victory, Kipyegon removed her shoes and gifted them to her friend Sandrine Prokopowicz. Matching the Kenyan’s kindness, Prokopowicz – who is World Athletics’ Technical Services Manager – in turn donated the spikes to the MOWA.

Topping that kindness was Anjelina Lohalith, the most experienced athlete of the ASICS-sponsored Athlete Refugee Team (ART), who in Budapest donated her winning singlet from the European Champion Clubs Cup Cross Country in February 2023. That was the first ever international victory of any member of the ART.

30 artefacts, 23 athletes, 11 countries, four areas

In total, 30 artefacts of 23 athletes from 11 countries and the Athlete Refugee Team, representing four continental areas, have today been added across the MOWA’s five online galleries. Another three athletes who kindly donated artefacts in 2023 will enter the 3D museum when a new gallery is launched next year.

Much of the clothing, shoes, equipment, and trophies entering the MOWA, all donated during 2023, were exhibited in a five-month long MOWA Heritage Athletics Exhibition in Budapest which celebrated 40 years of the World Athletics Championships.

Currently, all the new additions are on show at the World Athletics offices in Monaco and some will be exhibited for one month next year in the MOWA Indoor Athletics Exhibition in Glasgow (3 February to 3 March) ahead of the World Athletics Indoor Championships in the Scottish city.

The World Athletics Heritage Collection and the Museum of World Athletics thank all athletes for their generous donations. There would be no collection and no MOWA without your support.

Athletics artefacts entering MOWA

In the coming weeks, we will publish feature stories about the careers of the many champions and record breakers who have made donations to our collection in 2023 and are joining the displays across MOWA’s digital platform for the first time today:

Doris Brown Heritage (USA), 1967 International Cross Country Championships, Barry, UK, 1st place: gold medal.

Frank Shorter (USA), 1971 Pan-Am Games, Cali, Colombia, 10,000m & marathon, gold: USA team t-shirt.
Sylvia Barlag (NED), 1979, world best performance heptathlon, Longwy, France 1st place, Longwy, France: trophy, two pairs of shoes, high jump and hurdles.

Orlando Pizzolato (ITA), 1984 New York City Marathon, 1st place: running shoes

Dan O’Brien (USA), 1991 World Championships decathlon, gold: singlet, bodysuit & bib number.
Aki Parviainen (FIN), 1999 World Championships javelin, gold: singlet & bib number.
Jan Zelezny (CZE), 1999 World Championships javelin, bronze: singlet & bib number

Boris Henry (GER), 2003 World Championships javelin, bronze: singlet & bib number.
Stefano Baldini (ITA), 2004 Olympic Games marathon, gold: pair of shoes.
Tero Pitkamaki (FIN), 2007 World Championships javelin, gold: singlet & bib number.

Liu Xiang (CHN), 2011 World Championships 110mH, silver: spike, left shoe.
Krisztian Pars (HUN), 2011 World Championships hammer, silver: throwing glove.
Matej Toth (SVK), 2015 World Championships 50km race walk, gold: singlet & name bib (and 2019 World Championships name bib).
Gong Lijiao (CHN), 2019 World Championships shot, gold: singlet.
Liu Hong (CHN), 2019 World Championships 20km race walk, gold: singlet & bib number and shoes.
Barbora Spotakova (CZE), 2019 World Championships javelin, 9th: singlet & bib number and boots.

Wang Jianan (CHN), 2020 Olympic Games long jump, qualification: pair of spikes.
Anjelina Lohalith (ART) European Champion Clubs Cup Cross Country, Castellon, Spain, 1st place: singlet.
Hellen Obiri (KEN) 2023 Boston Marathon, 1st place: singlet & name bib.
Bence Halasz (HUN) 2023 World Championships hammer, bronze: throwing glove.
Grant Holloway (USA) 2023 World Championships 110mH, gold: singlet & bib number and spike, right shoe.
Faith Kipyegon (KEN) 2023 World Championships 1500m & 5000m, gold: pair of spikes.
Joe Kovacs (USA) 2023 World Championships shot, bronze: singlet & bib number.

Chris Turner
Director of World Athletics Heritage and Curator of the MOWA

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