President Wirz: '2017 World Championships have to be in London'
European Athletics President Hansjörg Wirz has
pledged his full support for London's bid to host the 2017 IAAF World
Championships in Athletics.
"I am convinced that we have
to be in London in 2017 and I am 100 percent behind UK Athletics'
efforts to bring the World Championships back to Europe," said President
Wirz on the sidelines of the annual European Athletics Convention in
Arona, Spain, on Thursday.
"Europe is the centre of the athletics world and our athletes and fans deserve the stage London will provide.
supported the efforts of the authorities in London to retain the track
in the Olympic stadium, the IAAF must now follow through by awarding the
event to justify the investment and secure the legacy of the London
London is in a two-horse race with Doha, Qatar, for the
right to host the 2017 World Championships, which will follow the Daegu
2011, Moscow 2013 and Beijing 2015 events. A decision on the hosts will
be made at the IAAF Council meeting in November.
"We must avoid a situation where the World Championships is held outside of Europe three times in four editions," added Wirz.
LOCOG Chairman Sebastian Coe, who is also a vice-president of the IAAF, and UK Athletics are co-leading the bid.
is no other city in the world more suited to host the 2017 IAAF World
Championships than London. It has everything that the governing body of
the sport can ask for: a passionate fanbase, a rich tradition in
athletics, organisational experience and a great venue," said President
UKA Chairman Ed Warner, also attending the European
Athletics Convention, welcomed the words of support from the European
"I'm delighted that President Wirz and his
colleagues at European Athletics are putting their full weight and
support behind London 2017," said Warner.
"Everyone in the
European family in athletics recognises the significance of the sport's
global showpiece event returning to our continent at regular intervals.
Not only is this conducive to excellent performances from the world's
top athletes, but it also has positive ramifications for broadcast
audiences and commercial income into the sport."
London 2017 has
attracted support from across the world as a number of stalwarts of the
sport past and present have thrown their weight behind the bid.
Ethiopian distance running legend Haile Gebrselassie is the latest to
join as an ambassador and a member of the Athlete Commission for
The bid is also supported by British legends such
as Jonathan Edwards, triple jump world record holder, Sally Gunnell, the
1992 Olympic Games 400m hurdles champion, Steve Cram, the 1983 World
Championships 1500m winner and former world mile record holder, and
Roger Black, the 1986 and 1990 European Athletics Championships 400m
Mo Farah, 2011 European Athlete of the Year,
recently joined 400m hurdles world champion David Greene, 2010 European
Athletics Championships triple jump champion Phillips Idowu, and Hannah
England, who won the silver medal in the 1500m at the World
Championships, as an official ambassador.
The official London 2017 website is at www.london2017athletics.com.
Find European Athletics at www.european-athletics.org, www.facebook.com/europeanathletics and www.youtube.com/europeanathletics and follow on www.twitter.com/yoursport4life