Ashia Hansen celebrates her triple jump victory at the 2003 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham (Getty Images) © Copyright
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Britain’s rich history of hosting IAAF championships

There are exactly 200 days to go until the IAAF World Championships London 2017 when Britain will stage the IAAF’s flagship event for the first time.

Britain is one of just five countries to have hosted IAAF championship events across the four main competition surfaces – outdoor track, indoor track, road, and cross country – and here we look back on their history of staging these events.

IAAF World Cross Country Championships Chepstow 1976

The racecourse in the Welsh town of Chepstow was the setting for Britain’s first ever IAAF championship event. Iberian athletes won the senior individual titles as Portugal’s Carlos Lopes won the men’s race and Spain’s Carmen Valero won the women’s. But England, entered here as a separate nation, won the senior men’s team title, much to the delight of the home crowd.

IAAF Race Walking World Cup Milton Keynes 1977

Although this was the eighth edition of the event formerly known as the Lugano Trophy, this was the first edition under its rebranded title of the ‘IAAF Race Walking World Cup’ (now known as the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships).

Mexican athletes dominated the competition, taking gold and silver in both the men’s 20km and 50km events as well as winning the team event.

IAAF World Cross Country Championships Glasgow 1978

Bellahouston Park was the setting for the first of five senior women’s world cross-country titles for the late Grete Waitz. As was the case two years earlier, there was success for the host nation as individual winner Mick Morton led England to team victory in the junior men’s race.

IAAF World Cross Country Championships Gateshead 1983

Waitz once again won the senior women's title, completing her record streak in the same country where it began. The senior men’s race was one of the closest in World Cross history as all three podium finishers were given the same time with Ethiopia’s Bekele Debele coming out on top.

The 1983 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Gateshead (Getty Images)The 1983 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Gateshead (Getty Images) © Copyright

 

IAAF World Race Walking Cup St John’s 1985

The tiny village of St John’s on the Isle of Man welcomed 158 of the world’s top race walkers in 1985. Spain’s Jose Marin, who was 35 at the time, became – and remains – the oldest man ever to win the 20km at the championships.

IAAF World Women's Road Race Championships Gateshead 1985

Held just five weeks after the World Race Walking Cup in St John’s, the north-eastern town of Gateshead staged the IAAF World Women's Road Race Championships, a precursor to the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. Portugal’s Aurora Cunha retained her individual crown, while Britain won the team title.

IAAF World Marathon Cup London 1991

Before this team competition became part of the marathon at the IAAF World Championships, it was staged in conjunction with various other marathons. In 1991 it formed part of the London Marathon and Britain won the men’s team title.

Britain win the 1991 IAAF World Marathon Cup (Getty Images)Britain win the 1991 IAAF World Marathon Cup (Getty Images) © Copyright

 

IAAF World Half Marathon Championships South Shields 1992

The inaugural IAAF World Half Marathon Championships was run simultaneously with the Great North Run. Benson Masya won the men’s race and led Kenya to the team victory, while Liz McColgan triumphed in the women’s race, helping Britain gain team silver.

IAAF World Cup London 1994

Britain’s first IAAF track and field competition was the 1994 IAAF World Cup, the forerunner to the IAAF Continental Cup. The three-day event ended on a high with the hosts winning the men’s 4x400m, but it wasn’t enough to catch Africa in the overall standings as they won the men’s team title. With victories in four of the six field events, plus a rare 100m-400m double from Irina Privalova, Europe won the women’s team title.

Moses Kiptanui on his way to winning the steeplechase at the 1994 IAAF World Cup in London (Getty Images)Moses Kiptanui on his way to winning the steeplechase at the 1994 IAAF World Cup in London (Getty Images) © Copyright

 

IAAF World Cross Country Championships Durham 1995

Paul Tergat landed his first major title in 1995, winning the senior men’s race at the World Cross in Durham. Ethiopia’s Derartu Tulu, the Olympic 10,000m champion at that time, won the senior women’s race, but Kenya swept all four of the team titles.

The senior men's race at the 1995 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Durham (Getty Images)The senior men's race at the 1995 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Durham (Getty Images) © Copyright

 

IAAF World Cross Country Championships Belfast 1999

Just like fellow five-time winner Waitz, Tergat’s streak of world cross-country victories began and ended on British mud. The Kenyan won his fifth and final individual title in Belfast in 1999, while Paula Radcliffe gave the home crowd something to cheer by taking bronze in the senior women’s long race.

 

IAAF World Half Marathon Championships Bristol 2001

Before becoming world record-breakers over the full marathon distance, Radcliffe and Haile Gebrselassie won world half-marathon titles in Bristol in 2001. Gebrselassie out-sprinted fellow Ethiopian Tesfaye Jifar to take the victory, while Radcliffe smashed the championship record with 1:06:47.

Paula Radcliffe on her way to winning the 2001 world half-marathon title in Bristol (Getty Images)Paula Radcliffe on her way to winning the 2001 world half-marathon title in Bristol (Getty Images) © Copyright

 

IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2003

An exciting men’s 400m final, Carolina Kluft’s big breakthrough and Svetlana Feofanova’s world indoor pole vault record were just some of the highlights of a memorable championships at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena. But the loudest cheers came when Britain’s Ashia Hansen uncorked a fifth-round leap of 15.01m to take gold in the triple jump.

Athletes in action at the 2003 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham (Getty Images)Athletes in action at the 2003 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham (Getty Images) © Copyright

 

IAAF World Cross Country Championships Edinburgh 2008

Having been dethroned as the world cross-country champion one year prior in Mombasa, Kenenisa Bekele returned to the top of the podium in Edinburgh in 2008, winning a record 27th medal as Ethiopian athletes won all four of the individual titles on offer.

Kenenisa Bekele caps an Ethiopian sweep in Edinburgh at the 2008 IAAF World Cross Country Championships (AFP / Getty Images)Kenenisa Bekele caps an Ethiopian sweep in Edinburgh at the 2008 IAAF World Cross Country Championships (AFP / Getty Images) © Copyright

 

IAAF World Half Marathon Championships Birmingham 2009

Zersenay Tadese and Mary Keitany cemented their status as the world’s best runners over 13.1 miles when taking the individual titles in Birmingham. It was Tadese’s fourth consecutive victory, while Keitany broke a nine-year drought of individual women’s titles for Kenya.

The men's race at the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Birmingham (Getty Images)The men's race at the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Birmingham (Getty Images) © Copyright

 

IAAF World Half Marathon Championships Cardiff 2016

The 2016 World Half Marathon Championships was one of the most competitive but also one of the toughest, given the cold conditions and torrential rain. Geoffrey Kamworor powered his way through to storm to successfully defend his title while Mo Farah took bronze for Britain. Peres Jepchirchir led a Kenyan sweep in the women’s race.

The early stages of the women's race at the IAAF/Cardiff University World Half Marathon Championships Cardiff 2016 (Getty Images)The early stages of the women's race at the IAAF/Cardiff University World Half Marathon Championships Cardiff 2016 (Getty Images) © Copyright

 

IAAF World Championships London 2017

Fittingly, the 2017 World Championships will be the 17th IAAF competition held in Britain. Held in the same stadium that hosted the athletics at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the event is expected to attract nearly 2000 athletes from more than 200 countries.

The Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Park in London (Getty Images)The Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Park in London (Getty Images) © Copyright

 

Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF