Organisers have unveiled the official medals for the World Para Athletics Championships and IAAF World Championships London 2017, which place the drive and determination of athletes at the heart of its unique clockwork design.
Based within the shape of an athletics track, both sets of medals for the World Para Athletics Championships and IAAF World Championships are layered with symbols of every event for each schedule, an intricate design that bears resemblance to the inner workings of a watch.
With London the historical home of Greenwich Mean Time, the medals for the IAAF World Championships also feature iconic London landmarks that sit on the River Thames – Tower Bridge, the London Eye, the Shard and Big Ben – to give a strong sense of location.
For the World Para Athletics Championships, the layering of the equipment enables visually impaired athletes to feel the details of the medals while there is braille on the reverse marking the host city and the year.
The medals were designed by Birmingham-based Toye, Kenning & Spencer who asked themselves “What makes an athlete tick?” when creating the medals. Founded in 1685, Toye, Kenning & Spencer have a proud history, holding a royal warrant and being commissioned to manufacture the medal presented to serving personnel in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
Five-time Paralympic medallist Dan Greaves, European and Commonwealth silver medallist Jazmin Sawyers and coach of Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill, Toni Minichiello, were all part of the creative panel that fed into the medal design process.
Dan Greaves said: “You don’t need to much motivation going into a home World Championships but being part of the panel and having helped to choose such great medal designs really does make you want to win one. I more determined than ever to get on the podium in London.
“The medals are so unique and I really like how my event, the discus, is represented along with all the other disciplines. As an athlete, a lot of hard work and time goes into winning medals and it is great to see that element of time reflected in the design.”
Jazmin Sawyers said: “I loved being part of the panel. It was something that I have never done before and such a unique experience to see what goes into making the medals for a World Championships. It is great that organisers wanted input from athletes and coaches.
“Long jump is all about getting your timing right. If you get your run up just right and hit the board at exactly the right time you can land a big jump. That is what I will be aiming to do this summer and I can’t wait to hopefully be a part of an amazing World Championships.”
Toni Minichiello said: “The IAAF World Championships London 2017 is going to be a fantastic event and that organisers are recognising the coaches of medal-winning athletes with a medal for the first time too is a great progressive step.
“A coach works very closely with athletes and it’s important to understand what makes them tick. It is great to see that element being applied to the medals. At a big event like a World Championships, mindset and good decision making at the right time makes the difference between being successful and not.”
The biggest sporting events in the world in 2017, the World Para Athletics Championships kick off the Summer of Athletics from 14-23 July with the IAAF World Championships following at the London Stadium from 4-13 August.
Niels de Vos, Championship Director, said: “We are very proud of the unique medal designs for both the World Para Athletics Championships and IAAF World Championships London 2017. It isn’t easy to demonstrate so much on a medal but Toye, Kenning & Spencer have done a fantastic job with a design that carries such a great message.
“There are 213 medal events at the World Para Athletics Championships and 47 medal events at the IAAF World Championships and every athlete dreams of standing on the podium to collect one. Hopefully we have made that moment even more special by presenting a truly unique medal.”
Hamish Ritchie, Account Manager at Toye, Kenning and Spencer, said: “For us as a company it was massive honour to be chosen to design the medals. It has been a while since we have worked on such a large scale international event like this and it is really nice to have that support.
“They wanted something that was made in Britain entirely. We have the factory in Birmingham and the factory in Bedworth were the medal ribbons are manufactured. For us to be able to manufacture everything here, with our own manufacturing capabilities is fantastic.
“We are very proud to have been able to show off what we can do, not only our company but as a country for such an international event. We can say with pride that we made the medals for the World Para Athletics Championships and IAAF World Championships London 2017.”