Bob Hersh Named Head of Evaluation Commission for 2017 World Championship

September 12, 2011

Bob Hersh has been elected as the new head of the Evaluation Commission for the 2017 World Championships following his appointment as senior vice-president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The American will lead a nine-member delegation that will visit London and Doha next month to produce a report that will assess the two cities respective bids ahead of a meeting of the IAAF’s ruling Council in Monte Carlo on November 11.

Hersh, a Harvard Law School graduate, replaces former Olympic pole vault champion Sergey Bubka, who headed the Evaluation Commission that oversaw the bids for the 2015 World Championships.

London failed on their bid on that occasion due to concerns over the legacy of their stadium.

The Evaluation Commission will be seeking reassurances during their visit, which is scheduled to take place between October 2 and 4, that London will have a Stadium to host the event if they are awarded it.

Memories are still fresh within the IAAF that in 2001 were awarded the 2005 World Championships but then Prime Minister Tony Blair broke a promise to build a stadium at Picketts Lock to host the event and it was eventually moved to Helsinki.

But London will be encouraged that Bubka, a vocal long-time critic of London’s failure to secure the future of the Olympic Stadium, has been removed from the Evaluation Commission after he lost his position as senior IAAF vice-president at the elections in Daegu last month.

London will be encouragement from the inclusion on the Commission of Namibia’s former world 200 metres champion Frankie Fredericks.

He was a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission that inspected London’s bid for 2012 and is now on the Coordination Commission that is overseeing the preparations.

Other members of the Commission include Mexico’s Cesar Moreno Bravo, an honorary member of the IAAF Council, IAAF general secretary Pierre Weiss, who is from France, and his British deputy, Nick Davies.

The Commission also includes another Briton in Nigel Swinscoe, a Lougborough University graduate, who will be representing AMS, the servicing company of Dentsu, the IAAF’s marketing agents.

Dentsu will also have a representative on the Commission who will sit alongside Paul Hardy, the Canadian who is the competition manager of the IAAF, and Isabelle Dupuis, Weiss’ personal assistant.

The Commission will visit the Olympic Stadium on October 3, the second day of their visit to London, and will hold a press conference the next day before leaving for Doha, where they will stay until October 6.