IAAF Council selected venues for two IAAF World Athletics Series events this morning on the second and final day of its meeting in Osaka, the city which next year will host the 11th edition of the IAAF World Championships in Athletics.
The 2008 IAAF World Junior Championships will take place in Bydgoszcz, Poland, venue of the first ever IAAF World Youth Championships in 1999. Irena Szewinska, President of the Polish athletics federation and IAAF Council Member, led the delegation from the city known as the Capital of Polish athletics -
“Since 1999, and the World Youth, Bydgoszcz has become an even more experienced organiser of athletics events, by hosting editions of the European Cup and the European U23 Championships, in front of large and enthusiastic crowds. We are delighted that the Zawisza stadium, which has been extensively modernised in the past five years, will now play host to a top IAAF competition.”
The victory of Bydgoszcz was a narrow one, since the rival candidate, the city of Moncton, Canada, also made an impressive presentation to Council with a delegation led by the Mayor of Moncton, Lorne Mittan, and the President of the University of Moncton, Yvon Fontaine. In the first round of voting, Members were split equally 13-13, with Bydgoszcz prevailing 15-11, when a second round of votes was counted.
Council then unanimously decided to award the 2010 edition of the IAAF World Junior Championships to Moncton.
The city will now begin construction of a brand new athletics stadium at Moncton University, which will become the first top class athletics facility in the New Brunswick region of eastern Canada. “Council fully supported the ambitions of Moncton and Athletics Canada to organise a top class event which will promote the sport but also leave a lasting legacy in the shape of this new track,” said IAAF President Lamine Diack.
Council also agreed to award the 2008 edition of the IAAF World Road Running Championships to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The proposed date is 5 October.
Split, a beautiful and historic Croatian city which hosted the 1979 edition of the Mediterranean Games and the 1990 European Athletics Championships, was awarded the right to host the 2010 edition of the IAAF World Cup. However, Council also requested, within a 30 day deadline, some written guarantees from city and government authorities regarding some of the budgeted costs for hotel and stadium refurbishment, and assurances about allocation of visas
SCHOOL & YOUTH COMMISSION
Council accepted a number of recommendations from the newly formed IAAF School & Youth Commission, following an activity report by Jamel Simohamed (ALG).
The IAAF will contact its Member Federations to implement its own commissions to take control of youth athletics, to ensure close communication with school sports groups, as well as:
• involve the IAAF Regional Development Centres,
• expand the IAAF Kids Athletics programme
• begin work on a new programme of Team competitions in athletics, for the 13-15 year-old age group.
• Council also agreed to begin studying a new programme of athletics related activity for the 7-12 year age group.
PROGRESS REPORTS FROM 2006 COMPETITIONS
Council Members also heard progress reports from the organisers of the following IAAF Competitions, and agreed that preparations were proceeding without major problems:
11th IAAF World Junior Championships in Beijing, CHN
4th IAAF World Athletics Final in Stuttgart, GER
10th IAAF World Cup in Athletics, Athens, GRE
It was agreed that the next IAAF Council Meeting would take place in Beijing, China, on 21-22 August 2006, just after the World Junior Championships.
IAAF ATHLETICS’ WORLD PLAN
Lamine Diack presented a report on the considerable progress of the IAAF Athletics’ World Plan since the last Council meeting in Moscow last November. Diack re-emphasised the importance of one of the World Plan’s key targets – namely to make Athletics the number 1 sport in schools, and was happy that the new IAAF School/Youth Commission is already up and running (see specific report).
A new task force will be set up to try and come up with a World Calendar of athletics events of all levels, for the period 2007-2012, to which all the Areas can adhere to help promote the sport worldwide. Diack also discussed the important role that the IAAF’s Area associations need to play, in the coming years, to ensure that the Athletics’ World Plan can achieve fruition by the time of the IAAF Centenary in 2012. Diack concluded by describing a new project to capture new converts to athletics amongst younger age groups, working in co-operation with TV partners to guarantee worldwide distribution of news and human interest features about athletics.
STATUS REPORT FROM 2007 IAAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS – OSAKA
Council heard an impressive progress report from the organisers of the next edition of the IAAF World Championships in Athletics
Hiromasa Hemmi, who is General Secretary of the Local Organising Committee, spoke of Osaka’s aim to make a strong contribution to the development of athletics in Japan but also to encourage, through sport, cultural exchanges and world peace.
The organisers stressed that the Japan Association of Athletics Federations JAAF, Osaka City and the local business community have joined forces to forge steadily ahead with preparations for the Championships.
Close liaison is being maintained with the IAAF at every stage of the preparation process, with a number of site visits by specialists scheduled for the coming months. While work continues regarding facilities and equipment, the LOC relocates to Osaka next week and a major promotion campaign will begin on 12 April – with a “500 days to go” event. The official website has been active since May 2005 -
- and publicity tools including posters, bulletins, slogans and press conferences are ensuring that the public are kept aware of the on-going activities of Osaka 2007.
With regard to the course for the Marathon races, which are almost a religion in Japan, the organisers will use a flat course running through the centre of the city, the same one that has been used for the past 25 years by the Osaka International Ladies’ Marathon. The Marathon will start and finish in the Nagai Stadium, passing well-known symbols of the city like Osaka Castle and Osaka’s Central Public Hall.
Nagai Stadium, which will host all the athletics events, was built in 1964 as one of Japan’s largest stadiums, and since then has hosted many major sporting events. Following large scale refurbishments in 1997, the stadium was remodelled with five tiers of stands, a roof, and seating capacity for 50,000 spectators.