The two day meeting of the IAAF Council in the German capital’s Hotel Intercontinental concluded today with a press briefing given by IAAF President Lamine Diack.
The Council today heard progress reports from the Local Organising Committee’s for 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, Berlin (GER), 2009 IAAF / VTB Bank World Athletics Final, Thessaloniki (GRE), and the 18th IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, Birmingham (GBR).
See ‘Related Content’ for the previous story regarding Berlin 2009’s progress report
The Council also decided on the venue for the 38th IAAF World Cross Country Championships which will be held in Bydgoszcz, Poland on 27 March 2010.
President Diack's comments
On the weekend’s Council meeting:
“The main goals of this Council meeting were the preparation of the IAAF Congress and World Championships to take place in this city in August, but also consideration to important changes to our sport – for example a more modern and relevant competition structure for our Championship events but also the one day meetings,” said President Diack.
Also, of course, two days of hard, routine Council work has taken place this weekend including, for example, the decision earlier today to grant Bydgosczc the right to host the next available edition of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.”
On German athletics in general:
“Over the years I have many fond memories of German athletes and competitions and can speak with affection about German athletics – not only great competitions from the past such as the World Champs in Stuttgart in 1993 and the recent editions of the World Athletics Finals, but also the annual athletics celebrations in Berlin – ISTAF and the REAL Berlin Marathon – where we have had so many great athletes and performances.”
On Berlin 2009:
“We are now less than 5 months away from the Opening Ceremony in Berlin. It is very important that Berlin reproduces the success of last year’s Olympic Games in Beijing and that the athletes who impressed us all last year, will confirm at our own event – the most important IAAF competition.”
“I have absolute confidence that this will be a great championships and that the organisation will be excellent – and also that the expert public that you can attract here will create the best possible conditions for the athletes, to inspire them to top results.”
“I believe that already the Berlin organisers have sold more tickets at this stage of the preparation than any other World Championships so far. But other things will make this World Champs stand out, for example holding the road races outside the stadium for the first time, but also a cultur stadion by the Brandenburg gate which will help us to promote the ideals and culture of athletics to the general public.”
“Germany has no reason at all to be pessimistic about athletics in this country. Your athletes are more than capable of producing great performances and I was very happy to see how Turin showed that we can expect many excellent German performances, and not only from Sebastian Bayer or Ariane Friedrich – who are already amongst the best in the world at their events. I am convinced that having a World Championships in your own country will be a great motivation for young German athletes – as this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”