International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Presidential candidates, Ukraine's Sergey Bubka and Britain's Sebastian Coe, have both independently pledged to protect the sport's place on the Olympic programme amid claims that events will have to be cut.
Coe and Bubka have each promised that planned changes to the Olympics as a result of Agenda 2020, adopted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in December, allowing more sports at the expense of some events and disciplines of existing competitions, would not affect athletics.
"We are very proud to be the number one sport of the Olympics and we have a strong position within the [Olympic] Movement," Bubka, the world pole vault record holder, told Reuters.
"The IOC looks to make the programme attractive and I am confident athletics will keep its strong position.
"I think we will keep 47 events with 2,000 athletes.
"We will be in the same position as before but we need to look closely and cooperate."
Coe, meanwhile, has claimed that he is committed to protecting athletics' traditional events.
"I see no good reason why the sport would want to get rid of the shot put," he said during a visit to Auckland, where among the people he has met is Valerie Adams, the two-time Olympic gold medallist in the discipline.
"I heard a few weeks ago suggestions that we should get rid of race walk and we should get rid of triple jump.
"Well, that's for our sport to decide and that's about the independence and autonomy of the sport."
Coe, though, did concede that athletics had to adapt to the 21st century to make it more attractive.
"I know there are things we can improve upon and there are things that other sports have done to capture the imagination of young people," said the double Olympic 1500 metres gold medallist.
"We need to redouble our efforts there.
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