Beijing 100m Relay Bibs - IAAF Centenary (CAA) © Copyright
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100 children - 100 metres - 100 years: Beijing celebrates IAAF Centenary

MonteCarloThe city of Beijing, China, which will host the 15th edition of the IAAF World Championships in 2015, will stage a special youth celebration on Sunday (13 May) to mark the year of the IAAF Centenary, based on a concept devised in meetings with the IAAF’s partner Adidas.

100 youngsters, split into 50 mixed teams (12-year-old boys and girls) of two runners will take part in a 100 metres Relay (2x 50m) race on a 50 metres track specially laid for the occasion in the Central Piazza of Beijing Olympic Park in the shadow of The Birds’ Nest.

Jointly organised by the IAAF, Chinese Athletic Association, Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports and the Beijing Sports Competitions Administration Center, and strongly supported by the IAAF Centenary Main Partner VTB and Supporting Partners adidas and Mondo, the relay which will be televised on CCTV is being held to celebrate 100 years of Athletics Excellence.

"100 children, 100 metres, 100 years, is an appropriately symbolic way to celebrate the IAAF Centenary," said IAAF President Lamine Diack. "The IAAF was born in 1912 and the strength of our sport today, as it was 100 years ago, is its appeal to the youth of the world."

"Fresh, lively activities for the young as we’ll see this weekend in Beijing are the key to keeping Athletics connected with the 'next generation’. They are completely in line with our School and Youth development programme such as projects like the IAAF World Athletics Day and IAAF/Nestlé Kids’ Athletics, which is one of the biggest grassroots development programmes in the world of sports."

"100 children each running 50 metres in a relay over 100 metres is a wonderful way to celebrate our 100th year but most importantly the children are sure to have great fun doing it," concluded the president.

Ensuring a high level of excitement among the 100 participants, Chinese Olympic champions Wang Junxia (5000m ,1996), who will be inducted into the IAAF Hall of Fame later this year, and Wang Liping (20km Race Walk, 2000) will be on hand to motivate the children who come from schools situated close to the Birds’ Nest.

IAAF Council Member Jun-Ki Park and IAAF Honorary life Vice President Dapeng Lou and representatives of the Chinese Olympic Committee, Chinese Athletic Association and the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports will also be in attendance.

Ahead of the start, video messages from President Diack and China’s favourite sports’ star Liu Xiang, the 2004 Olympic and 2007 World 110m Hurdles champion and former World record holder, will be shown, and directly following the relay a Kids’ Athletics event for all the participants will be held.