IAAF President Sebastian Coe this afternoon visited the IAAF Heritage World / Continental Cup – 1977 to 2018 – Exhibition in Ostrava's Forum Nova Karolina Shopping Centre.
Coe, who was in the Czech Republic to promote this year’s IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 (Saturday 8 / Sunday 9 September) and to watch tonight’s IAAF World Challenge Golden Spike meeting, toured the exhibition with Tomas Macura, the Mayor of the city of Ostrava, Libor Varhanik, Czech Athletics Federation President and Valter Bocek, Chief Executive Officer of the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018.
Coe, double Olympic 1500m champion and multiple world record breaker, is of course not unfamiliar with the history of the IAAF World Cup in Athletics. Coe competed in the third and fifth editions of the competition, which in 2010 was renamed the IAAF Continental Cup.
In 1981 in Rome, Coe pulled on a Team Europe vest and won the 800m in style, taking the lead at 500 metres and then glided away from the rest of the field down the home straight before winning in 1:46.16.
On his second appearance in 1989, when the Cup was held in Barcelona, Coe, then representing Britain who had qualified as an individual team, ran the 1500m. There he took on 1987 world champion Abdi Bile of Somalia, who was representing Africa, narrowly losing in 3:35.79 to Bile’s 3:35.56.
“Situated right in the heart of Ostrava, this exhibition is a marvellous opportunity for athletics to directly engage everyday with people as they shop,” said Coe, “connecting athletics with a public who might never have considered visiting a stadium to watch our sport.
“Here in Ostrava, athletics’ rich history is introduced, visitors become acquainted with its heroes and heroines via video, photo and text displays," added Coe. "They can view the competition clothing of great champions and watch video of the events in which it was worn. They have the opportunity to feel the weight of the hammer and marvel at the height of the high jump world record. This is athletics close up, a sport which has excited for millennia."
The IAAF Heritage World / Continental Cup - 1977 To 2018 - Exhibition is kindly supported by the International Athletics Foundation, ASICS, Seiko, TDK and Mondo and is delivered by IAAF Heritage along with the Czech Athletics Federation and the LOC of the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018. We thank the Forum Nova Karolina Shopping Centre for their generous assistance in hosting the exhibition.