World Athletics on Monday announced the launch of the World Athletics Ultimate Championship with Budapest hosting the first edition from September 11 to 13, 2026.

The tournament will pit world champions, Olympic champions, the Wanda Diamond League winners and the year’s best performing athletes against each other, to crown the ultimate champion.

Featuring 8-16 of the world’s top-ranked athletes per discipline, with selections based primarily on world rankings. Approaching 400 athletes from about 70 countries are set to compete.

READ | Duplantis wins at Stockholm Diamond League but falls short of record

The biennial competition is set to have a record-setting prize pot of US$10 million, the largest ever offered in the history of track & field athletics – with gold medallists set to receive US$150,000.

Taking place over three evening sessions, each under three hours in duration, the Ultimate Championship will showcase the best of athletics, including sprints, middle and long-distance races, relays, jumps, and throws.

“With only the best of the best on show and cutting straight to semifinals and finals, we will create an immediate pressure to perform for athletes aiming to claim the title of the ultimate champion,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe.

The three-day event with each evening session packed with semifinals and finals for track disciplines, and straight finals for field disciplines.

“The World Athletics Ultimate Championship will be high on action and excitement for fans, setting a new standard for track and field events. Featuring athletics’ biggest stars, it will be a must-watch global sports event and means track and field will host a major global championship in every single year, ensuring for the first time that athletics will enjoy a moment of maximum audience reach on an annual basis,” he added.

“Budapest is truly honoured to be the inaugural host city for the highly innovative World Athletics Ultimate Championship. Having successfully hosted the 2023 World Athletics Championships, recent World Aquatics Championships, major UEFA events and many more, Budapest is ready to deliver again,” said Balazs Furjes, IOC member for Hungary and previous co-leader of the World Championships organising committee.