USA’s 2012 London Olympic Games 110m hurdles champion Aries Merritt has become the latest star athlete to give his support to the IAAF Heritage World Athletics Championships Exhibition which opens in Doha, Qatar on Thursday 18 April.
Merritt, the fastest man ever over the sprint hurdles, has generously donated to the IAAF Heritage Collection the pair of spikes which he wore when flying to the current 110m hurdles world record of 12.80 seconds in the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Brussels on 7 September 2012.
The spikes will be on public display in the IAAF Heritage Exhibition in the City Center Doha shopping mall for six months leading into and through the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 (27 Sep to 6 Oct).
In a special ceremony on the evening of Thursday 18 April, IAAF President Sebastian Coe together with Dahlan Al Hamad, IAAF Vice President and Director General of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 Local Organising Committee, will officially open the world’s largest ever display of athletics artefacts and memorabilia.
“When I heard about the IAAF Heritage project, I immediately knew I had to become involved and help promote track and field,” Merritt said. “I hope that the display of my world record spikes in Doha will attract the attention of sports fans and the preservation of the shoes will assist the telling of tracks’ incredible story to future generations.”
TIMELINE: Blankers-Koen to Jackson to Johnson to Merritt
Hurdling history will play an important part in the exhibition displays. Fanny Blankers-Koen’s Olympic accreditation cards from London 1948, Nawal El Moutawakel’s 1984 Olympic spikes, Colin Jackson’s Stuttgart 1993 world record vest, Allen Johnson’s Athens 1997 spikes, Nezha Bidouane’s Edmonton 2001 bodysuit and number, Jana Pittman’s Paris 2003 winning vest and number are just a few of artefacts from famous global champions which will be on display alongside Merritt’s spikes.
The IAAF Heritage World Athletics Championships Exhibition will be open from Thursday 18 April to Monday 7 October 2019.