The Canadian city of Edmonton (Alberta) has been selected as the host of the 8th IAAF World Championships in Athletics in 2001.
The Canadian presentation won massive consensus from the members of the IAAF Council, voting in Monte Carlo this afternoon.
Speaking after the result was announced, the leader of the Edmonton bid, Ralph Klein, Premier of the Province of Alberta said: "I am very happy that the Council has awarded the World Championships to the city of Edmonton. This is indeed an honour for our Province and for the nation. Edmonton has a proud tradition of organising sports events and we are delighted to have a commitment to host what we feel will be the greatest ever World Championships."
IAAF President Primo Nebiolo expressed his satisfaction at the high level of the presentations: "The Council has voted, by a great majority, because they were convinced that Edmonton could organise this event in a good manner. We were all impressed by the guarantees made, the exposures promised and the overall presentation - which was really splendid."
First to make their presentation was the French delegation led by the President of the French Athletics Federation,
Philippe Lamblin was accompanied by Olympic champion pole vaulter Jean Galfione, who gave his support to the French proposal and expounded the advantages of Paris from the athletes’ point of view: excellent hospitality facilities, with single room accommodation for over 3000 athletes in a university complex a mere 15 minutes away from the 75,000 capacity Stade de France stadium.
Lamblin went on to outline the organisational advantages of the stadium, which houses an internal international broadcast facility, the ease of access by road and metro and the guarantees from the City of Paris, the French Federation and the French government.
The delegation representing the Stanford/San Francisco bid made the next presentation. Led by Bid Chairman Nick Petredis, the team was completed by Tim Warner, Vice President of Stanford University, Dan Fenton, Chief of the San Jose Tourism Board and Craig Masback, CEO of the US Track and Field Federation.
Among the arguments presented by the Americans were the advantages of splendid technical facilities available at Stanford University, complimentary room and board for the IAAF quota of athletes, coaches and team officials, a timetable which features final events at prime-time for European TV audiences and tremendous marketing possibilities in the Silicon Valley area and the USA as a whole.
Furthermore, the delegation emphasised the considerable appeal to tourists of the San Francisco - Bay Area region. Petredis also highlighted the support for the bid from US President Bill Clinton and the Governor of California Gray Davis.
The final of the three presentations for the 2001 fell to Edmonton. The bid was presented by the head of Athletics Canada, Rolf Lund and further presentations were made by the Premier of the province of Alberta, Ralph Klein and the Canadian Minister of Justice Ms Anne McLellan, who had prepared a speech on video.
In addition to Canada’s rich experience of organising major sporting competitions - the proposed venue, the 60,000 seat capacity Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton has already hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1978 and the World University Games in 1983 - the co-chairman of the Edmonton bid, Jack M. Agrios also confirmed that accommodation and transportation to the venue would be provided for participating athletes and officials.
Canadian television has also committed to a $2 million contract with the IAAF to cover athletics in the country for the three years 1999-2000-2001.