MIke Rowbottom ©insidethegames

The event officially opened here last Saturday by the Chinese President was not just the International Association of Athletics Federations' World Championships - it was self-styled as the Green Championships, with concern for the environment being one of its key elements.

As Xi Jinping declared the 15th version of former IAAF President Primo Nebiolo's Big Idea open, the giant "tree" which had been constructed alongside the back straight of the Bird's Nest stadium was made to turn green, shooting out fresh leaves and revealing each version of these Championships in the form of enormous fruit.

The day before, a peach-stone's throw from the stadium at the Chinese National Convention Centre, Sebastian Coe was elected as the man now charged with pruning and re-shaping the sport of athletics as its next President. His shears will need to be sharp.

IAAF President Elect Sebastian Coe meets the Chinese President  Xi Jinping on the day of the Opening Ceremony at the Bird's Nest stadium ©Getty Images
IAAF President Elect Sebastian Coe meets the Chinese President Xi Jinping on the day of the Opening Ceremony at the Bird's Nest stadium ©Getty Images

Following the latest elections at the IAAF Congress, Coe is now taking the opportunity to appraise the hand with which he has been played.

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