Coe States London ‘Would be a Fantastic Venue’ for ’17 WAC

March 25, 2011

Seb Coe, London 2012 chairman and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) vice-president has backed the bid of England’s capital to host the 2017 World Athletics Championships, stating the city “would be a fantastic venue” for the prestigious event.

London was the first city to publicly announce its interest in hosting the event, but is set to face stiff opposition from three cities to host the 2017 competition as Doha, Budapest and an unnamed city from Spain, likely to be Barcelona or Madrid, have put themselves forward to host the event.

Britain has failed on three occasions already this decade to secure the Championships but with the London 2012 Olympic Stadium in Stratford set to have an athletics legacy after the Games and therefore the capacity to host the competition, Coe is confident the IAAF will want to bring the event to the city for the first time.

In an interview with insidethegames, Coe stated: “There is obviously a lot of stiff competition for the 2017 World Athletics Championships but I think it’s very important to bring the event to London.

“UK Athletics, under Ed Warner and Niels de Vos, are very keen explore that and I think London would be a fantastic venue for the competition.”

The biggest threat to London’s bid is believed to be that of Doha, the capital of Qatar, which put itself on the international sporting map when the country surprisingly won the right to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Obtaining the rights to host the 2017 World Championships would be another major event that the nation will have secured to help raise its profile, but while Coe stated the IAAF does want to expand in new countries, he revealed they also want to recognise the core markets for the sport such as the UK.

“I think the IAAF is very clear that while they certainly want to extend the sport in developing countries, they also want to recognise the really solid markets for the sport,” Coe said.

“There is no country in Europe that has a stronger base in track and field than the UK.

“The way UK Athletics is structured; there is hardly a country in the world that has that kind of strength in depth.

“We’ve now got the venue, we’ve now got the facilities and under the leadership of Ed and Niels, I think we will put up a really serious case.”