It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that Seiko's deep connection with athletics events began with the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. In following with the theme of "a scientific Olympics" presented by the organizing committee, to achieve comprehensive introduction of electronic timepieces, which had previously only been introduced experimentally, Seiko developed 1,278 timepieces from scratch for the Tokyo Olympics, including timing devices for athletics events. As a result, the timing was of such high accuracy that it was said to be the first Olympic games without any contentions over finishing order and times.
World Athletics Partnership Contract
Seiko has had a partnership contract with the World Athletics (former IAAF) since 1985, and has overseen timing at more than 180 World Athletics competitions. The World Athletics Championships is considered the greatest athletics competition in the world, and since the 2nd World Championships held in Rome in 1987, Seiko has been the official timer for 16 consecutive championships. Through this close collaboration with World Athletics, Seiko has marked many incredible moments at numerous international competitions for over 30 years, earning the trust of the World Athletics, athletes and spectators alike.
The Seiko Golden Grand Prix: A gathering of the world's top athletes
This athletics competition, bearing the name of Seiko, is held as part of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold level meetings and is participated in by some of the world's top athletes. It is also designated as a qualifying competition for selection of Japanese athletes to represent the nation in international sporting events such as the World Athletics Championships and the Summer Olympics. Since its sponsorship of the Super Athletics Meet, the predecessor to the Golden Grand Prix, Seiko has supported numerous sporting competitions both as sponsor and official timer.
Outstanding Records Recorded by Seiko
When a new world record of 9.86 seconds was set in the 100m finals at the 1991 IAAF World Championships in Tokyo, it was Seiko that measured this amazing feat.
Eighteen years later, at the 2009 IAAF World Championship in Berlin, a new world record was again set in the 100m finals. That record was an incredible time of just 9.58 seconds.
Seiko will continue to provide accurate measurement of such outstanding records over time.
Seiko and the World Athletics
Seiko and the World Athletics have built a wonderful relationship working together in various sporting competitions.
Let's explore some "key numbers" that mark the history of collaboration between Seiko and the World Athletics.
|35 years||Since 1985, Seiko has been the official timer for World Athletics competitions. These two organizations have continued a 35-year partnership.|
|185 competitions||With Seiko acting as official timer over four World Athletics competitions each year, the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha was the 185th such competition.|
|3,300 people||In total, 3,300 staff members have participated in timing for sporting events. Our timing teams have bases in two locations–Japan and the UK–and teams are formed according to the equipment used, the scale of an event, and the location where it is held. At the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, the timing team comprised 68 employees (12 from Japan, 2 from Malaysia and 54 from the UK).|
|2 laps around the earth||Timing systems are kept at the bases in Japan and the UK. For the 16 IAAF World Championships alone, the distance traveled was equivalent to 2 laps around the earth.|
|30||35 years as official timer for the World Athletics Championships, Seiko has measured 30 world records.|
* As of May 2020
As the only official timer of the Japan Swimming Federation, Seiko supports very influential and traditional swimming tournaments in Japan, such as the Japan Open and the Japan Swimming Championships, providing the latest timing systems developed through repeated improvements. Also, by releasing flash reports via the internet and providing up-to-date announcements on the results of fierce swimming competitions as they unfold in real time, we are able to share the excitement and amazement of these events even with people outside the venues.
As well as supporting marathon events as the official timer, Seiko also seeks to provide athletes with psychological support under the slogan "time is more than just a number." The times achieved by runners represent their personal zeal, regardless of what the records may be. We reflected this belief in our slogan to inspire marathon runners.
The Tokyo Marathon is the largest urban marathon in Japan, in which some 38,000 participants run through famous sightseeing spots around Tokyo. Seiko has remained the official timer for this event since it was first held. Seiko is also carrying out the Seiko City Runners Support Project to share the passion and exhilaration of runners and support each runner in their effort to achieve the important number that is their target finish time.
Seiko has remained the official timer of the Osaka Marathon since it was first held. The runners who complete the race write their finish times and personal messages on specially prepared sheets, which Seiko then displays as advertisement posters hung inside trains the next day, thereby sharing with the city the passion of those runners conveyed through their impressions and messages of joy at achieving their target finish times.
Other sponsored marathons
Seiko sponsors various marathon events around Japan, including the Nagoya Women’s Marathon, the Hofu Yomiuri Marathon, and the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon. Seiko also sponsors various marathons outside Japan, including the Mumbai Marathon, one of the four largest marathons in India.
Since 2017, Seiko has entered into a 4-year sponsorship contract with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and is supporting the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup. The AFC Champions League determines the top club team in Asia, with fierce competitions held throughout Asia, and also determines who will participate in the FIFA Club World Cup. It is the most influential tournament for Asian soccer clubs.
Seiko provides support for both these tournaments, with the aim of spreading the passion and excitement of soccer, as one of the best loved sports in Asia.
Since the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Seiko has supported Judo, one of the traditional martial arts of Japanese origin. As an official supplier for the All Japan Judo Federation, Seiko currently provides timing devices and score display services for major tournaments held in Japan. Although the victory of a Judo match is determined by the moves performed, by performing measurement of the length of matches and holds, Seiko carries out a vital role that can affect the outcome of a match.
As the only official speed-skate timing partner of the Japan Skating Federation, Seiko acts as official timer for major speed-skating tournaments held in Japan, including the World Cup and other international tournaments. As the name implies, speed skating is a high-speed race in which competitors race around a 400m track at speeds about 60km/h. Seiko lends support to the management of these tournaments by providing accurate measurement of athletes' race times down to 1/1000 of a second, even under the harsh and unusual conditions of the ice track.
Seiko is supporting Karin Miyawaki in the women's fencing fleuret competition. By supporting Ms. Miyawaki as she continues to compete on the global stage, Seiko aims to contribute to the promotion and development of fencing competition.
As an official partner of the Japan Gymnastics Association, Seiko performs timing and results display for major tournaments such as the All-Japan Artistic Gymnastics Championship.
Gymnastics comprises a variety of events—the men's floor, pommel horse, still rings, vault, parallel bars, and horizontal bar, and the women's vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor—and multiple events of different kinds are held in the same venue simultaneously.
With such a complex schedule, Seiko provides support for the management of these tournaments by immediately aggregating judges' scores, keeping accurate measurement of the specified times for the men's and women's floor events and the women's balance beam, and clearly displaying results.