Gdynia records best results of World Athletics’ Air Quality Project so far

Preliminary analysis of data collected at last weekend’s World Athletics Half Marathon Championships indicates that Gdynia has the best air quality of any major athletics event or road race measured since World Athletics’ Air Quality Project started in 2018.

The data suggests that the clean air in the Polish city, combined with the optimal temperature and humidity, was among the factors that contributed to the high number of personal best performances in Gdynia, which included the world record set by the women’s winner Peres Jepchirchir.

As part of World Athletics’ continuing pilot programme to measure air quality at sporting venues around the world, and with the support of the local organising committee, World Athletics’ health and science department measured clinical and environmental data in Gdynia.

Two Kunak air quality monitors were used in Gdynia – one at a fixed position near the start line, and one mobile device attached to a bicycle which followed the athletes around all four laps of both races. More than 70,000 data points were collected for various pollutant gases concentrations, particle concentrations and meteorological parameters across an 18-hour period in Gdynia.

Pending data validation, the data showed very low concentrations of pollutant gases and particulate matter. The low levels of anthropogenic emissions detected, combined with the location at the seaside, the timing of the competition, and the meteorological conditions of the day, have resulted in the lowest level of pollutants that the clean air programme has monitored to date in any urban race.