UKA boss throws support behind London 2017 bid
UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner claims the 2017 World Championships must come back to the West
UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner has pledged world records and sell-out crowds in a bid to persuade global governing body the IAAF to award London the 2017 World Championships.
London goes head-to-head with Qatari capital Doha on Friday in an International Association of Athletics Federations vote in Monaco with Warner in buoyant mood.
Since the Olympic Park Legacy Company opted to end their discussions with West Ham United over handing over the Olympic Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur have dropped their judicial review, ensuring there is no legal clouds hanging over London’s bid.
UK Athletics avoided embarrassment at the last minute when bidding for the 2015 championships – again legal issues over the future of the stadium saw the plug finally pulled, prompting memories of the Picketts Lock fiasco in 2007, but those problems are now resolved.
But London face Doha – among the most fashionable places to host major sporting events at present – after the 2010 World Indoor Championships while Qatar will host the 2022 Fifa World Cup.
Doha will also offer more of a financial carrot to the IAAF but with the World Championships moving from Daegu to Moscow in 2013, and then on the Beijing two years later, Warner is urging athletics world governing body to bring the competition to a European country with athletics heritage.
“We are putting in place conditions which will be ideal for athletes to break records in London,” Warner told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“The Olympic Stadium is going to be full – morning and evening sessions.
“There will be fans from nations all around the world. London is a multi-cultural diverse city. Every athlete will have a home set of supporters there.
“We have got a very strong commercial bid. If we win, we will be bringing the World Championships back to western Europe – the bread basket of the sport.
“It’s absolutely critical for the health of global athletics that we nurture the audience in the core western European market.
“The Doha bid will be technically excellent and they have a very powerful argument of taking the sport into virgin territories.
“However, when I look at the commercial appeal of London, it stands head and shoulders above any other city.”