• World Athletics Championships 2017

London to host 2017 World Championships

ESPN staff
November 11, 2011
The Olympic Stadium will host the World Athletics Championships in 2017 © Getty Images

London has succeeded in its bid to host the 2017 World Athletics Championships, after winning an IAAF vote against Doha following an impressive presentation in Monaco on Friday.

London's bid - headed by Lord Sebastian Coe with a final speech coming from mayor Boris Johnson - proved enough to persuade the IAAF voters and overcome an impressive array of financial assurances from the Qatar capital's bid committee.

In the end, 16 of the 26-man IAAF panel voted in favour of London's bid. It will be the first time Great Britain has hosted the Championships, after being forced to pull out after initially winning hosting rights for the 2005 iteration.

"This is a big boost for us, in terms of athletics and our legacy. It will be a big boost for jobs in London," Johnson said. "We thought it was going to be tight - if three votes had gone the other way it would've been a different story."

Coe added: "It means everything. I'm delighted - to have the third largest sporting event in the world back in that stadium in 2017 could really help drive the sport around the world."

Victory had not been assured throughout a day that saw both bids make their final cases for victory. London were even forced into a last-ditch pledge to cover the £5 million cost of the athletes' prize fund, a gesture that went some way to combating Doha's range of financial pledges - worth around £150m.

While Doha's bid focused on financial incentives and reassurances that the region's climate would not be a problem, Coe's team stressed the importance of continuing the legacy of London 2012 and the greater commercial and sponsorship opportunities that would exist in one of the western world's financial hubs.

Coe and Johnson made two key speeches, while 18-year-old sprinter Jodie Williams offered an athlete's view of what hosting the event would mean and minister for sport Hugh Robertson was on hand to assure the committee that the bid had the government's full support.

The recipe provided a successful one, as London can now look forward to continuing the athletics legacy after the 2012 Games - and the controversial Olympic Stadium can look forward to being used for another major event, as Robertson again made an "unbreakable guarantee" it would host top-class sport for 99 years.

"The successful bid to bring the 2017 IAAF World Championships to London is a cornerstone in delivering on the promise of a meaningful sports legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games," said British Olympic Association Chairman Colin Moynihan. "It has been our view all along that the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games should serve as a catalyst for the beginning of a new era of sport in the United Kingdom, with expanded opportunities for participation at every level of sport.

"It is by hosting events such as the 2017 IAAF World Championships, that legacy will be brought to life."

The 2013 World Championships are due to take place in Moscow, while Beijing are set to host the 2015 event.

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