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2nd IAAF/Westel Youth Championships starts in Debrecen

IAAF President receives highest Hungarian award - , Thursday
IAAF Release
9 July 2001 - Monaco - Monte-Carlo - Just days before the inauguration of the second edition of the IAAF/Westel Youth Championships, which take place in Debrecen between Thursday 12 and Sunday 15 July, the President of the Hungarian Republic, Ferenc Madl has awarded IAAF President Lamine Diack with Hungary’s highest honour, the “Order of the Officer Cross”. The ceremony took place on Monday afternoon in Budapest in the historic Parliament building, in the presence of the Minister for Youth and Sport, Tamas Deutsch, and the Mayor of Debrecen, Lajos Kosa, who is also the President of the Local Organising Committee.

In his brief acceptance speech, President Diack was keen to underline Hungary’s athletics tradition, “This country has produced many champions thanks to the talent of its youth and a profound sporting culture that is deeply ingrained in the hearts of the Hungarian people,” said Diack.  He also pointed out the fundamental role played out by the public authorities and the Hungarian Government, which is always ready to support the organisation of important events.

The second edition of the IAAF/Westel Youth Championships is one of these events, and for the number of countries and athletes taking part, probably one of the biggest. There are, in fact, 165 National Federations participating, sending 750 boys and 580 girls ranging from 15 to 17 years of age, for a total of 1330 athletes.

The concept of the World Youth Championships was approved by Congress in Athens in 1997, after recommendation of the Council and former President Primo Nebiolo. The aim of this initiative was to provide more solid structures for youth athletics offering young boys and girls the experience of international competition capable of stimulating ambition and reaffirming their passion for athletics.

The results achieved in Bydgoszcz (Poland) during the first edition of the Championships in 1999 proved that this was a bountiful initiative. Many of the 1999 winners have already become stars of the track around the world and some even medalled at the Sydney Olympics. Those who stood out most spectacularly include Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell (2000 Olympic silver medal at 4x100m), Great Britain’s Mark Lewis-Francis (2001 World Indoor Bronze medallist) in the sprints, Ladji Doucoure (FRA) and Jana Pittman (AUS) in the hurdles, Jacques Freitag (RSA) in the high jump and Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva in the pole vault.

In this second edition, which can boast of 28 more countries than the inaugural event, many other young stars will prove that there is an extraordinary goldmine of talent throughout the five continents. The outcome will also show the importance of the IAAF’s involvement in cooperation with the Member Federations, in spreading the ethical principals of sport and the fundamental rules of training and competition.

Programme of events

100m, 200m, 400m, 800, 1500m, 3000m, Octathlon (100m, long jump, shot put, 400m, 110m hurdles, high jump, javelin, 1000m), 110m hurdles, 400m hurdles, 2000m steeplechase, 10km walk, medley relay (100m, 200m, 300m, 400m), high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump, shot put (5kg), discus (1.5kg), hammer throw (5kg) and javelin (700g).

100m, 200m, 400m, 800, 1500m, 3000m, Heptathlon (100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m, long jump, javelin, 800m), 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, 5000m walk, medley relay (100m, 200m, 300m, 400m), high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump, shot put (4kg), discus (1kg), hammer throw (4kg) and javelin (600g).