Monaco – Nov 15, 2013: Portland 2016 and Birmingham 2018, The IAAF Council chaired by President Lamine Diack today met in the Fairmont Hotel, Monaco, for the second and final day of its traditional autumnal session in Monaco.
Dominating today’s meeting were the bid presentations by the potential hosts for three IAAF World Athletics Series (WAS) events in 2016: the IAAF World Indoor Championships, IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and IAAF World Race Walking Cup.
Portland to host 2016 and Birmingham 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships
Following the presentations of two excellent bids by delegations from the cities of Birmingham (GBR) and Portland, Oregon (USA), Council unanimously approved Portland as host of the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships and Birmingham as host of the 2018 edition.
“Council was faced with a nice and difficult task to make a choice between two wonderful bids,” said President Lamine Diack.
“We recognised that for our sport to grow in the United States it was strategically important (for these Championships) to first go to Portland in 2016 and, following the tremendous success of London 2012 and with Britain already hosting IAAF competitions in 2016 in Cardiff (World Half Marathon) and in 2017 in London (World Championships), that 2018 was better placed for us for Birmingham.”
“This is a win, win situation for athletics,” said USATF President Stephanie Hightower.
“It allows us to showcase the sport in the States and leaves the UK with a consistent series of high profile athletics events in the coming years. This decision adds momentum and an exciting frame work to international athletics allowing us to create a logical narrative which shows the world where we are going as a sport.”
It was a theme that was echoed by Ed Warner, Chairman of British Athletics who stated he was: “very keen on building on a series of IAAF events.”
“This is the best possible outcome for Britain which keeps the momentum of world class athletics in the UK and for the IAAF too it is the best decision, helping to develop the sport in the USA,” added Warner.
Summary of presentations:
The order of presentations today was decided by a draw with Birmingham allotted the opening position.
BIRMINGHAM: Ed Warner emphasised the bid from Birmingham came at a time when athletics in Britain is on a high after the London 2012 Olympic Games and rests on a city which is the home of the sport in Britain, annually hosting IAAF Diamond League and IAAF Indoor Permit competitions.
The city government offered unconditional financial guarantees to the Championships, as well as a proven track record, and a strong relationship with the IAAF as the host of various WAS events most recently of the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.
The venue, the National Indoor Arena (NIA) hosted the 2003 IAAF World Indoor Championships and is being extensively rebuilt in a £40 million renovation and will offer an 8000 spectator capacity.
The city would also stage a 10km mass participation race to coincide with the Championships to help engage the public directly beyond being enthusiastic spectators.
PORTLAND: Stephanie Hightower set out a bid which offered “a bold vision for the United States” which, in addition to the city and the national Member Federation, had the backing of the United States Olympic Committee.
“If given the chance to host 2016 it would begin a cascade of major athletics events coming to the United States,” she said.
In a video message Charlie Hales, the Mayor of Portland, declared “we are an athletics city.” There is an unrivalled diversity of recreation opportunities in Oregon, “Portland is a city of sports crazy fans.”
On the same video, Kenya’s World Championships and Olympic Games 10,000m medallist Sally Kipyego declared “Portland is a runner’s paradise.”
Two current World record holders Hicham El Guerrouj and Ashton Eaton were in the Council room to support Portland’s bid.
“The city’s population is passionate about Athletics and having last held the World Indoor Championships in 1987 the USA is ready again to host this great competition,” said El Guerrouj. Portland have facilities which, “offer a logistical dream to any athlete…the only problem you will have by staging the championships there will be to get people to leave, as everyone will want to stay in Portland,” added Eaton.
The venue, the Oregon Convention Center has a present spectator capacity of 8400. The track and other competition facilities will be built specifically for the Championships to the IAAF’s specifications.
The next edition of the IAAF World Indoor Championships takes place in Sopot (POL), 7 – 9 March 2014.
Cheboksary to host the 2016 and 2018 IAAF World Race Walking Cup
The delegation from the Russian city of Cheboksary was led by Mikhail Butov, the General Secretary of the Russian athletics federation (ARAF). He outlined its application to stage the 2016 IAAF World Race Walking Cup was based upon the country’s impressive previous experience as hosts of many IAAF World Athletics Series events.
Cheboksary, the capital of the Russian Republic of Chuvashia, hosted a most successful edition of the IAAF World Race Walking Cup in 2008.
The bid team reminded the Council that race walking was their republic’s national sport and the world’s best walkers are well known and feted by the city’s population who lined the streets of the city in their tens of thousands five years ago.
The 2km loop course for the competition, like in 2008, will be in the centre of the city to ensure the greatest possible atmosphere.
Cheboksary brought to the table a proposal to host multiple editions of the Cup and Council unanimously approved their application to host two editions – 2016 and 2018.
The next edition of the IAAF World Race Walking Cup takes place in Taicang (CHN) 3 – 4 May 2014.
Cardiff to host the 2016 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships
Flying the flag for the Welsh capital, the delegation from Cardiff confirmed they wished to, “bring the world to Wales and take Wales worldwide”.
Cardiff’s team outlined a vision to develop the best Half Marathon in the world, based upon their existing city race with a bid which has the full backing of the Welsh national and Cardiff City governments and British Athletics.
The first Cardiff Half Marathon took place back in 2003 with under 1500 runners and by the 10th Anniversary in 2012, the size of the field had dramatically expanded to 13,700.
It is now the UK’s second largest Half Marathon after the Great North Run, Wales’ largest road race and Wales’ largest multi-charity fundraising event. This year’s edition took place on 6 October and attracted 50,000 spectators to the course.
Concluding an impressive presentation, a video message from The Right Honourable Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales, was delivered to Council which promised to deliver a great event to the world of athletics based upon the city’s track record of hosting major events including, most recently, the 2010 Ryder Cup and the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
“Hosting the World Championships in Wales will create a major new platform to showcase the sport and to inspire people to adopt active and healthier lifestyles. We have played host in recent years to many of the world’s great sporting events and I look forward to hosting the IAAF in Wales. The Welsh word for welcome is ‘croeso’. Bydd croeso yng Nghymru. You are assured a warm welcome in Wales,” said Jones.
Council unanimously approved the application of the city of Cardiff (GBR) to host the 2016 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.
The next edition of the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships takes place in Copenhagen (DEN), 29 March 2014. —- IAAF
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