At the forthcoming IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships Rome 2016 on 7-8 May, women will be able to participate in the senior 50km race walk event.

In August 2015, IAAF Competition Rule 261 was amended by IAAF Congress to include the women’s 50km race walk as a listed world record event. However, there remained no women’s 50km race walk event on the IAAF calendar and the IAAF Council have recently voted to remedy that situation.

With immediate effect, the Technical Regulations for the forthcoming IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships in Rome have been amended to allow women to participate in the senior ‘50km race walk’ event, together with men.

Any women’s results in Rome will count equally with the men’s results towards the overall team result in the race which was formally known as the senior ‘men’s 50km race walk’.

The maximum number of athletes allowed to enter and compete in the 50km stays unchanged (seven to enter and five to compete), regardless of the number of men and women.

Please note that the IAAF Council’s decision also extends to the participation of women in future IAAF 50km race walk events for which they qualify until such time as the IAAF introduces a separate 50km event for women.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe commented: “I welcome this amendment which marks one of the last important steps to ensure equal competition opportunities for men and women at IAAF competitions. In recent decades we have seen the introduction of the pole vault and hammer throw for women. While there are still differences in some men’s and women’s events (in terms of hurdle heights, the distance run in the sprint hurdles, implement weights and the number of disciplines tackled in the combined events) the 50km race walk until now remained the last event solely open to men.”