Portland Host Indoor Worlds 16'

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon’s track and field reputation got another boost on Friday when Portland was selected to host the 2016 World Indoor Track and Field Championships.

A panel at the International Association of Athletics Federations unanimously decided to award the championship to Portland over Birmingham, England. The IAAF is the world governing body for track and field.

“This is incredible news for a city and a state already steeped in a great track and field tradition,” said Mayor Charlie Hales.

The IAAF president said both cities had “wonderful bids,” but they ultimately picked Portland because they are trying to grow the sport in the United States. Track got a big boost in England thanks to the London Olympics and several other major IAAF events are being held in the UK.

“It allows us to showcase the sport in the States and leaves the UK with a consistent series of high profile athletics events in the coming years,” said USA Track and Field President Stephanie Hightower. “This decision adds momentum and an exciting frame work to international athletics allowing us to create a logical narrative which shows the world where we are going as a sport.”

The Portland meet will be organized by TrackTown USA, the same group that organized past Olympic trials in Eugene.

The group is also organizing the 2014 World Junior Championships, 2015 U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships and 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene.

“By winning this bid we hope to ignite a spark that will be felt globally,” said TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna.

AAF Council Meeting, Monaco, 15 Nov – World Indoors: Portland 2016 and Birmingham 2018

Monaco – The IAAF Council chaired by President Lamine Diack today met in the Fairmont Hotel, Monaco, for the second and final day of its traditional autumnal session in Monaco.

Dominating today’s meeting were the bid presentations by the potential hosts for threeIAAF World Athletics Series (WAS) events in 2016: the IAAF World Indoor Championships, IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and IAAF World Race Walking Cup.

Portland to host 2016 and Birmingham 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships

Following the presentations of two excellent bids by delegations from the cities of Birmingham (GBR) and Portland, Oregon (USA), Council unanimously approved Portland as host of the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships and Birmingham as host of the 2018 edition.

“Council was faced with a nice and difficult task to make a choice between two wonderful bids,” said President Lamine Diack.

“We recognised that for our sport to grow in the United States it was strategically important (for these Championships) to first go to Portland in 2016 and, following the tremendous success of London 2012 and with Britain already hosting IAAF competitions in 2016 in Cardiff (World Half Marathon) and in 2017 in London (World Championships), that 2018 was better placed for us for Birmingham.”

“This is a win, win situation for athletics,” said USATF President Stephanie Hightower.

“It allows us to showcase the sport in the States and leaves the UK with a consistent series of high profile athletics events in the coming years. This decision adds momentum and an exciting frame work to international athletics allowing us to create a logical narrative which shows the world where we are going as a sport.”

It was a theme that was echoed by Ed Warner, Chairman of British Athletics who stated he was: “very keen on building on a series of IAAF events.”

“This is the best possible outcome for Britain which keeps the momentum of world class athletics in the UK and for the IAAF too it is the best decision, helping to develop the sport in the USA,” added Warner.

Summary of presentations:

The order of presentations today was decided by a draw with Birmingham allotted the opening position.

BIRMINGHAM: Ed Warner emphasised the bid from Birmingham came at a time when athletics in Britain is on a high after the London 2012 Olympic Games and rests on a city which is the home of the sport in Britain, annually hosting IAAF Diamond League and IAAF Indoor Permit competitions.

The city government offered unconditional financial guarantees to the Championships, as well as a proven track record, and a strong relationship with the IAAF as the host of various WAS events most recently of the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.

The venue, the National Indoor Arena (NIA) hosted the 2003 IAAF World Indoor Championships and is being extensively rebuilt in a £40 million renovation and will offer an 8000 spectator capacity.

The city would also stage a 10km mass participation race to coincide with the Championships to help engage the public directly beyond being enthusiastic spectators.

PORTLAND: Stephanie Hightower set out a bid which offered “a bold vision for the United States” which, in addition to the city and the national Member Federation, had the backing of the United States Olympic Committee.

“If given the chance to host 2016 it would begin a cascade of major athletics events coming to the United States,” she said.

In a video message Charlie Hales, the Mayor of Portland, declared “we are an athletics city.” There is an unrivalled diversity of recreation opportunities in Oregon, “Portland is a city of sports crazy fans.”

On the same video, Kenya’s World Championships and Olympic Games 10,000m medallist Sally Kipyego declared “Portland is a runner’s paradise.”

Two current World record holders Hicham El Guerrouj and Ashton Eaton were in the Council room to support Portland’s bid.

“The city’s population is passionate about Athletics and having last held the World Indoor Championships in 1987 the USA is ready again to host this great competition,” said ElGuerrouj. Portland have facilities which, “offer a logistical dream to any athlete…the only problem you will have by staging the championships there will be to get people to leave, as everyone will want to stay in Portland,” added Eaton.

The venue, the Oregon Convention Center has a present spectator capacity of 8400. The track and other competition facilities will be built specifically for the Championships to the IAAF’s specifications.

The next edition of the IAAF World Indoor Championships takes place in Sopot (POL), 7 – 9 March 2014.

A good day for Phil Knight and Vin Lananna