|Host city||Stadio Olimpico|
|Dates||August 28 – September 6, 1987|
|Officially opened by||President Francesco Cossiga|
The 2nd World Championships in Athletics under the auspices of the International Association of Athletics Federations were held in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy between August 28 and September 6, 1987.
Note: 1 Ben Johnson of Canada originally won the 100 m in 9.83, but he was disqualified in September 1989 after he admitted to using steroids between 1981 and 1988.
* Indicates athletes who ran in preliminary rounds.
1 Giovanni Evangelisti of Italy originally won the bronze in the long jump with a jump of 8.37 m, but it was later determined that Italian field officials had entered a pre-arranged fake result for a jump of 7.85 m. . Evangelisti did not know about the scam, but Italian head coach Sandro Donati revealed the fraud and was fired.
Note: * Indicates athletes who ran in preliminary rounds.
||Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA)||7.36
|Yelena Belevskaya (URS)||7.14||Heike Drechsler (GDR)||7.13|
||Stefka Kostadinova (BUL)||2.09
|Tamara Bykova (URS)||2.04||Susanne Beyer (GDR)||1.99|
||Natalya Lisovskaya (URS)||21.24
|Kathrin Neimke (GDR)||21.21||Ines Müller (GDR)||20.76|
||Martina Hellmann (GDR)||71.62
|Diana Gansky (GDR)||70.12||Tsvetanka Khristova (BUL)||68.82|
||Fatima Whitbread (GBR)||76.64
|Petra Felke (GDR)||71.76||Beate Peters (FRG)||68.82|
||Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA)||7128
|Larisa Nikitina (URS)||6564||Jane Frederick (USA)||6502|
WR world record | AR area record | CR championship record | GR games record | NR national record | OR Olympic record | PB personal best | SB season best | WL world leading (in a given season)
Two exhibition para-athletics events appeared at the competition, but results did not go towards the overall medal count. The two wheelchair races were the first time disability events had appeared at the championships, and were the first exhibition event of any kind to feature at the World Championships in Athletics. This began a tradition of such events which continued until 2011. Wheelchair exhibition events were contested until that year, bar 1999 and 2009.
|Men's 1500 m wheelchair||Mustapha Badid (FRA)||3:54.32||Lars Lofström (SWE)||3:54.90||Franz Nietlispach (SUI)||3:55.27|
|Women's 800 m wheelchair||Diane Rakiecki (CAN)||2:32.52||Connie Hansen (DEN)||2:37.07||Ingrid Lauridsen (DEN)||2:39.95|
|1||East Germany (GDR)||10||11||10||31|
|2||United States (USA)||10||4||6||20|
|3||Soviet Union (URS)||7||12||6||25|
|7||Great Britain (GBR)||1||3||4||8|
|18||West Germany (FRG)||0||1||2||3|
|Totals (27 nations)||43||44||42||129|