IAAF World Championships Brings Positive Coverage for Athletics With New Coe Era Set to Begin

August 28, 2015

By Tariq Saleh

Following a difficult few weeks leading up to the IAAF World Championships in Beijing this week, which was largely overshadowed by doping allegations, it was time for the athletes to let their talents do the talking and they have achieved that in some style.

In some ways, the World Championships came at a good time for the IAAF, with athletes such as Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill able to display the positive side of the sport and allow athletics to enjoy good media coverage for a change.

With the Championships set to conclude this weekend the IAAF can look back on a successful week in Beijing and a massive year ahead until the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.


Bolt reigns supreme

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt reaffirmed his status as the dominant athlete in the sport by winning gold in both the 100m and 200m in the Bird’s Nest, defeating American rival Justin Gatlin on both occasions.

Gatlin, who was twice banned for doping, isn’t the most popular figure and maybe had little support during both races, with Bolt receiving much of the backing, particularly in the morality stakes.

Bolt has shown he is still the man to beat and will be going for gold again at the Rio 2016 Olympics, but he hinted he may be hanging up his boots soon after.

Asked whether he will be competing at the 2017 World Championships in London, he replied: “I really want, I really want to run at London.

“But I think the sport is not as fun as it used to be. It’s more taxing. I can’t enjoy it as much as I want to because I have to be sacrificing a lot more. So, it’s 50-50, I am telling you.”

Whatever decision he makes, he will leave a massive legacy in the sport of athletics and one that may never be matched.


Doping concerns

The championships wasn’t all plain sailing however, with news emerging that Kenyan athletes Koki Manunga and Joyce Zakary (pictured above) were handed provisional bans after failing doping tests at the world championships by the IAAF.

Athletics Kenya released a statement which said: “Appropriate follow-up action will be taken in Kenya. Athletics Kenya will provide full support and cooperation to the IAAF during the results management process.”

Despite the many positives to come out of the championships, the issue of doping has arisen once again and is a major problem that athletics is struggling to rid from within the sport and is having a hugely negative impact on its image.


New era under Coe

So it is clear to see the task ahead for Seb Coe, who was elected as the new president of the IAAF prior to the World Championships.

The former athlete knows he has a huge job on his hands to restore the image and reputation of athletics in the lead up to the 2016 Olympics.

“I will do everything within my human capabilities to make sure our sport maintains the values, maintains the strong legacies and the very, very firm foundations that President Diack has left me,” said Coe after being elected.

“This is a sport that is strong, I have the responsibility to make it stronger, and I will.”

Coe is targeting a major clamp down on doping and wants to maintain the organisation’s zero tolerance policy.

“There is zero tolerance to the abuse of doping in my sport and I want to continue that,” he said.

“I will maintain that to the very highest level of vigilance.”

Coe officially takes office on 31 August after the conclusion of the World Championships, with barely any time to get his feet under the table.


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