London is attempting to reverse recent trends by successfully beating off competition for the 2017 World Athletics Championships which will now be held in the city after coming out top against Doha in a 16-10 vote in Monaco. The bid for the championships was being described as ‘now or never’ for the capital of the United Kingdom.
Bolt looks to extend career
The success of being awarded the championships has even got the likes of Usain Bolt excited. The world’s greatest sprinter has been inspired by the victory, saying that he could potentially extend his career by an extra year just so he can compete in the same city where he is looking to make history come the Olympics next summer.
He is already in preparation for next summer, having completed three weeks of training for what he is hoping is his greatest season. His coach also believes that Bolt will be at the peak of his powers, provided he remains injury free and is training at ‘full intensity’.
There is the potential for Bolt to go on and win 4 gold medals in London, with the addition of the 4x400m to his other three events which include 100m, 200m and 4x100m.
The campaign London put together centred around the fact that its bid was massively supported by athletes, and that London was able to guarantee the stadium would be a full house for every session. Moreover, it allowed for better commercial return to sponsors and broadcasters.
London had one competitor for these championships, Doha, who revealed a package of ‘additional incentives’ which took the promised investment in the World Championships and associated IAAF sponsorship and TV deals to approximately $239.2m.
The fact that London have been awarded another sporting championship settles the concerns many have had over the future of venues being created for the Olympics. It is even more of a relief to ministers and Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) officials, who were already coping with renewed problems over the future of the Olympic stadium in Stratford after the deal with West Ham and Newham collapsed through legal challenges.
The hope for sport in the UK is that the Olympics could instigate a golden period in athletics and other sports, which will be further supported through increased media coverage.
Sebastian Coe who had worked tirelessly to win the Olympics for the UK and was a key figure in the 2017 bid said: “We have the Games in 2012, we have the world athletics championships in 2017 and we have world championships at virtually every level in every sport over the next decade. It’s an extraordinary clean sweep for British sport.”