Beijing selected to host 2015 World Championships

November 22, 2010

Beijing has been selected to host the 2015 IAAF World Championships, asthma IAAF Council announced.

The selection of the Chinese capital to host the 15th edition of the Championships will bring athletics back to the dazzling “Bird’s Nest” Stadium, doctor the centerpiece of the 2008 Olympic Games.

“To help build up our sport and the culture of athletics in a country of 1.6 billion inhabitants is a great opportunity,” said IAAF President Lamine Diack, when making the announcement. “As we sometimes say, China is not a country, it’s a continent. So this is a fantastic opportunity for our sport and for the sport in China.”

Beijing, whose metropolitan area is home to nearly 17 million, will become the third Asian city to host the IAAF World Championships, the world’s third largest sporting event. Tokyo played host in 1991 and Osaka in 2007.

“Beijing hosted a very successful World Junior Championships for us in 2006 and then of course a very memorable Olympic Games in 2008,” Diack added. “So this provides a great opportunity to showcase the Championships in the best possible light in China.”

“This is the most important sporting event for China since the 2008 Olympic Games,” said Liu Jingmin, the Vice Mayor of Beijing.

“We thank you for your trust. We will deliver a high standard event in Beijing which will open a new chapter in Championships’ standards.”

Beijing’s successful bid marks the latest phase of China’s commitment to add to and enhance its athletics legacy.

Entering the 1980s, the Chinese government stressed that “Athletics was the fundamental sport with great influence” and that it was “necessary to improve (the national) athletics programme”, setting the stage for the sport’s significant growth and visibility in the country. Further encouraging its athletics community, in 2002 the General Administration of Sport of China (GASC) positioned athletics as a “focus sport”. In 2006 Beijing hosted the IAAF World Junior Championships where athletes from nearly 180 nations took part. The city has also hosted numerous IAAF Race Walking events, including the 2010 Race Walking Challenge Final, and the Beijing International Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, this year celebrated it’s 30th running.

“We believe that our bid to host the highest profile athletics competition in the world will serve to further promote the development of athletic sports across the world,” said Duan Shijie, Chairman of the Chinese Athletic Association.

“Hosting a world athletics championships is an aspiration shared by all citizens of Beijing, which we believe will facilitate the development of athletics in Beijing and China and substantially advance the exchanges and cooperation between China and the rest of the world,” sai Guo Jinlong, the Mayor of Beijing.