Organisers unveiled the official medals for July’s World Para Athletics Championships, which place the drive and determination of athletes at the heart of its unique clockwork design.
Based within the shape of an athletics track, the set of medals for the World Para Athletics Championships are layered with symbols of every event on the competition schedule, an intricate design that bears resemblance to the inner workings of a watch.
Identifying London as the home of Greenwich Mean Time, 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 was part of the creative panel that fed into the medal design process. The World Para Athletics Championships kick off the Summer of World Athletics from 14-23 July at the London Stadium.
Dan Greaves said: "You don’t need too 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."
Niels de Vos, Championship Director, said: "We are very proud of the unique medal designs for the World Para Athletics Championships. 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 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, Sales 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."
The World Para Athletics Championships, which take place at the London Stadium from 14-23 July, and the IAAF World Championships, which take place at the same venue from 4-13 August, are together the biggest sporting events in the world in 2017.
The biggest event to be staged at the London Stadium since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – it is the first time both Championships have been held in the same city with over 3,000 athletes from over 200 nations competing over 20 days of action.