United States to host 2021 IAAF World Championships

United States to host 2021 IAAF World Championships

BEIJING -- The IAAF's crown jewel of track and field, the World Championships, will be held in the United States for the first time in 2021.

In a special vote Thursday at its meetings in Beijing, the 27-member IAAF Council awarded the 2021 IAAF World Championships to the United States and the state of Oregon. USA Track & Field, the City of Eugene and local organizing committee TrackTown USA will host the meet at the University of Oregon's historic Hayward Field.

It marks the first time in the 33-year history of the IAAF World Championships that the meet will be contested on U.S. soil. The 2019 IAAF World Championships were awarded to Doha, Qatar, last November in a close vote that saw the U.S. bid garner significant attention and support.

IAAF President Lamine Diack announced the decision Thursday in Beijing.

"We are deeply honored to be given the opportunity to host the world's greatest track and field athletes on U.S. soil," USATF CEO Max Siegel said. "We thank President Diack and the IAAF Council for entrusting this meet to the United States. Team USA has established itself as the most successful track and field team in the world. We now have the opportunity and duty to rise to the same level as hosts of these championships."

"We are humbled by the bold leadership shown by the IAAF Council," TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna said. "We are thrilled to be able to welcome the world in 2021. We want to thank the IAAF for their decision, and we also want to thank the people of Oregon for their unwavering support. In hosting this meet at historic Hayward Field, on the beautiful University of Oregon campus, we believe we can ignite a spark that will leave a lasting legacy for track and field for generations to come."

The 2021 World Championships will be the third IAAF championship event to be held in Oregon in the span of seven years. The highly acclaimed IAAF World Junior Championships Oregon 14 made its U.S. debut in TrackTown USA last summer and the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016 will be held at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland on March 18-20, 2016.

The IAAF World Championships - a biennial nine-day competition featuring the world's finest track and field athletes - will be the largest sporting event in the world in 2021, with nearly 2,000 participants representing as many as 213 different countries from around the world.

The 2021 IAAF World Championships will join a long list of prestigious track and field events held in TrackTown USA. The University of Oregon has welcomed five U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials - including Eugene 08 and TrackTown 12, with a sixth coming in July of 2016 - the annual Prefontaine Classic, multiple USATF Outdoor Championships and the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships through 2021.


EUGENE AWARDED 2021 IAAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

During the afternoon session of the second day of its meeting in Beijing, IAAF Council awarded Eugene, USA, the 2021 IAAF World Championships.

The proposal to award the IAAF’s premier competition to Eugene, bypassing the usual bidding process, was taken in response to what was seen as a unique strategic opportunity to host the IAAF World Championships for the first time in the USA.

The decision followed a presentation to the IAAF in recent months by Eugene, USA. The candidature of the city from the State of Oregon and USATF, who mounted a failed bid last November for the 2019 edition of the championships, uniquely combined the commitment of the funding by the governor of Oregon with the support of the United States Olympic Committee and the commitment of NBC to produce and broadcast in cooperation with Universal Sports the championships live across America.

Council’s decision was taken in order to grant the sport’s access to one of the most historically successful countries in athletics as well as the most powerful economy in the world.

There have been precedents in the past, most recently in the awarding of the 2007 IAAF World Championships to Osaka, Japan, which was also done without a bidding process.

“In granting the championships to Eugene the IAAF Council have made a clear choice on a strategic decision that enables us to take advantage of a unique opportunity that may never arise again, whereby public authorities, the private sector, the national Olympic Committee, NBC and a particularly enthusiastic public are joining forces,” commented President Diack.

“Although this decision departs from the usual procedure, I am delighted that my Council colleagues understood the enormous opportunity presented to us to access a key market and have taken a decision in the interest of the global development of our sport,” concluded President Diack.

Vin Lananna, who led Eugene's bid for the championships, commented: "I thank President Diack, the Council and USATF President Stephanie Hightower and CEO Max Siegel in supporting the bid. We promise to deliver an outstanding championships for the sport of track and field in America and around the world."