IAAF President Lamine Diack attends the 12th IAAF World Championships in Berlin - Debrief next to Heinrich Clausen and Stefan Thies prior to the women's Marathon in Berlin (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Berlin, Germany

IAAF / LOC Press Conference - Berlin 2009 – Championships Debrief

The concluding IAAF / LOC Press Conference of the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics (15 -23 August) was held at the Sub-Media Centre at the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin today (23) ahead of this morning’s Women’s Marathon in the city’s streets and the last evening session of competition in the Olympic Stadium.

The guests attending from the IAAF were President Lamine Diack and Communications Director Nick Davies, and from the Local Organising Committee of Berlin 2009 (BOC) were Heinrich Clausen one of the two joint CEOs of BOC, and Media Director Stefan Thies.

Speech of President Diack:

Fantastic achievements on the track

“We have all enjoyed a fantastic World Champs which have been notable for confirming the success of athletics at last year’s Olympic Games.

There have been fantastic achievements on the track – and not only Usain Bolt, who may now be the most famous sportsman in the world, not just in athletics – but other World records, Area records and National records.

In summary we gathered 201 territories from all over the world to Berlin 2009:

1984 Athletes – 1086 men and 898 women
3 World records
9 Championship records
8 Area records
57 National records!!!

And after 8 days of competition no fewer than 34 countries have won medals.

What has been special here has been the excellent performances of the German team – motivated by the wonderful sporting atmosphere generated by the Berlin spectators. I would like to say a special thanks to them for their good nature, their enthusiasm but especially their sporting attitude, as they were ready to cheer and applause all the athletes, not only Germans!

High TV ratings

The IAAF is also delighted that the TV ratings for this World Championships have been exceptional and show a rising interest in the sport.

In Germany, we had over 5 million viewers on average and a peak of 9.9 million during the men’s 100m final and of 8.6 million during the women’s High Jump.

In France we averaged between 3.5 and 4 million, in the UK we had between 2.5 and 3.5 million while in Japan the average ranged between 4 and 5 million.

The interest in this competition can also be seen in a huge surge of visitors to the IAAF’s own website for these championships. Previously, the record of unique daily users had been 340,000 during the World Champs in Osaka. I am delighted to announce that in Berlin, we had a new record of 1 million unique daily users on two of the days of competition, which is an impressive total, and all days were at least double the daily high of two years ago.

400,000 tickets sold

Special thanks to the Governing Mayor Klaus Wowereit who was absolutely determined to have these World championships in his city. I remember that even though he failed to win the bid to host the 2005 World Champs, he did not give up, but came back again with a new effort. The World Athletics Family can thank him for his determination!

Up until last night, the organisers had sold 400,000 tickets which represents approximately 70% of the total available.

Innovations such as having the Opening ceremony, the road races (walk and marathons) outside the stadium as well as creating a “Kulturstadion” by the Brandenburg Gate, were a great success and this helped to create a special atmosphere in the city.

I was also very happy to be able to welcome the relatives of Jesse Owens and Luz Long, and present the medals with them after yesterday’s men’s Long Jump ceremony yesterday. It was a wonderful way to emphasise the human values of our sport – past, present and future.

Finally, I want to warmly thank the organising team for their hard work and especially the thousands of volunteers who are the backbone of our sport, and special thank you to our partners in the media.

Thank you very much.”

Chris Turner
IAAF Editorial Senior Manager