Sports Injuries Surveillance During the 2007 IAAF World Athletics Championships Academic Article uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to analyze all sports injuries incurred in competitions and/or training during the 2007 World Athletics Championships and to prove the feasibility of the injury surveillance system developed for the 2008 Olympic Games for individual sports. DESIGN: Prospective recording of injuries. SETTING: 11 IAAF World Championships in Athletics 2007 in Osaka, Japan. PARTICIPANTS: All national team physicians and physiotherapists; Local Organising Committee (LOC) physicians working in the Medical Centres at the stadium and warm-up area. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Frequency, characteristics, and incidence of injuries. RESULTS: 192 injuries were reported, resulting in an incidence of 97 injuries per 1000 registered athletes. More than half of the injuries (56%) were expected to prevent the athlete from participating in competition or training. Eighty percent affected the lower extremity; the most common diagnosis was thigh strain (16%). In most cases, the injury was caused by overuse (44%). A quarter of the injuries were incurred during training and 137 (71%) in competition. On average, 72.4 injuries per 1000 competing athletes were incurred in competitions. The incidence of injury varied substantially among the disciplines. The risk of a time-loss injury was highest in heptathlon, women's 10,000 m, women's 3000 m steeplechase, decathlon, and men's marathon. CONCLUSION: The injury surveillance system proved feasible for individual sports. Risk of injury varied among the disciplines, with highest risk in combined disciplines, steeplechase, and long-distance runs. Preventive interventions should mainly focus on overuse injuries and adequate rehabilitation of previous injuries.


  • Alonso, Juan Manuel
  • Junge, Astrid
  • Renström, Per
  • Engebretsen, Lars
  • Mountjoy, Margo
  • Dvorak, Jiri

publication date

  • January 2009