World Athletics sees record-breaking web traffic and worldwide engagement, setting new standards for online sports audience reach.
The recently concluded 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest showcased unparalleled athletic prowess, drawing a global audience that shattered previous records.
However, amidst the exhilaration and triumphs, a peculiar phenomenon raised eyebrows – the delayed live updates on the official World Athletics website.
With a staggering influx of nearly one million daily visitors in the first week alone, the championship's digital infrastructure faced unforeseen challenges.
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While World Athletics acknowledged the monumental surge in website traffic, the impact of this surge on the website's functionality was evident.
Many enthusiasts expressed frustration as they encountered delays in accessing live results during key events. Notably, a subset of visitors even reported gaining access to race results moments ahead of others due to these delays.
Although World Athletics did not directly acknowledge this discrepancy, the surge in traffic seemingly exacerbated the website's performance issues.
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The event's online footprint set unprecedented benchmarks. On the inaugural day, web traffic surged to levels more than double those of any prior championship.
At its zenith, the website experienced an astonishing 400,000 requests per minute, translating to an overwhelming 14 million requests per hour.
Such traffic inundation inevitably strained the website's infrastructure, leading to delays and hampering the timely dissemination of live results.
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Over the course of the nine-day championship extravaganza, an astonishing 14,000 news articles were published, collectively reaching a staggering audience of 28.5 billion. The digital sphere was ablaze with updates, analyses, and insights, underscoring the global hunger for track and field content.
Accompanying this virtual surge, a record-breaking number of accredited broadcast professionals and media personnel covered the event, hailing from a diverse range of countries.
Rights-holding broadcasters reported massive viewership numbers across the globe, with notable peaks in countries such as Germany, the UK, France, and Finland. Japan's TBS network even reported reaching a staggering 28 million viewers during the initial weekend of the championships, hinting at the event's resonance in international markets.
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World Athletics' social media platforms surged past 11 million followers during the event, showcasing the widespread engagement and community building around the sport. In a physical manifestation of this digital enthusiasm, more than 38,000 individuals visited the Museum of World Athletics exhibition in Budapest's Etele Plaza.
Amidst the flurry of digital triumphs, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe emphasized the innovation that underpinned the championships.
The event not only witnessed extraordinary athletic feats but also introduced groundbreaking elements such as a vibrant medal plaza, coaches' medals, and visually striking branding adorning the city.
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Coe commended the sustainable vision that guided the event, positioning it as a blueprint for future championships.
Furthermore, plans were unveiled for a permanent World Athletics center of coaching excellence, set to be hosted at the National Athletics Centre in collaboration with the Hungarian government and institutions such as the Hungarian University of Sport Sciences.
With 2100 athletes hailing from 195 countries and the Athlete Refugee Team, the Budapest Championships showcased global unity through sport. These athletes captivated over 400,000 ticketed spectators from 120 countries, contributing to an event that saw one world record, one world U20 record, seven championship records, 11 area records, and a remarkable 73 national records.