Three years on from London 2017’s winning bid

Three years on from London 2017’s winning bid


British Athletics celebrated the three-year anniversary of London’s winning bid to host the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships recently, as some of the key players in the British capital’s campaign recalled that victorious day.

Following a nine-week battle against Doha and Barcelona, London was awarded the sixteenth edition of the biennial event on November 11th, 2011 in Monaco.

Led by bid President, Lord Sebastian Coe – the IAAF Vice President and London 2012 Chairman – London unveiled its bid on September 6th, 2011 with the slogan ‘Ready to break records.’

The global championships – which will take place in London’s 2012 Olympic and Paralympic stadium in Stratford, East London between August 5th and 13th, 2017 – was presented to London in light of British Athletics’ promise to deliver a track and field legacy.

The British proposal was also buoyed by the new national stadium and the athletes’ endorsement, with over 100 British and international stars publicly voicing their support.

In addition, in December, 2012, London won the right to host the eighth edition of the IPC World Athletics Championships, and so for the first time in history, the sport will see both the IAAF and IPC World Athletics Championships held in both the same city in the same year.

Ed Warner, the Chairman of the bid, of British Athletics and of the IAAF and IPC London 2017 Championships, reminisced about the 2011 triumph:

“The bid was a two-year project, firstly corralling financial and other support from Government, UK Sport and the Mayor of London, and then lobbying IAAF Council members in the face of strong competition from Doha,” he explained.

“I led London’s campaign and I can’t say that it was all a bundle of laughs. We had a number of obstacles to overcome, most significantly the very public battle to secure the future of the track at the Olympic Stadium.

“There were brief moments of enjoyment, most notably when the track ‘victory’ was secured, but my abiding memory is that it was an unrelenting process of arguing, exhorting and cajoling – although all in the best possible cause and with a very passionate, supportive team alongside me.”

2014 European and Commonwealth 200m silver medallist, Jodie Williams was in Monaco as an official bid ambassador and recalled:

“It was an amazing experience and a great opportunity for me as a young athlete aspiring to be at the championships.

“I was given the task of writing a speech from the athlete’s perspective and took part in other some media activities. I’ve always enjoyed public speaking and it gave me a really good insight into something I may like to pursue further after my athletics career.”

“I was extremely pleased and was really thrilled that we had won. I think it was imperative to continue building on the legacy after the London Olympics and to give the British athletics fans another opportunity to watch a world class spectacle in their country, especially after the support of the British public in 2012.”

Off the back of her breakthrough summer season, Williams continued:

“My motivations are quite clear in my mind. I missed out on the London Olympics due to injury and despite London 2017 being five years after the event, it will be very much my own personal Olympics.

“My hopes are to make the final and once I’m in that final with a home crowd behind me, anything can happen.”

Meanwhile, as Vice President of the London 2017 Athletes’ Commission, Jason Gardener – the 2004 Olympic 4x100m gold medallist – revealed his contribution:

“My role was to support Denise (Lewis – the President of the Athletes’ Commission) and the bid by including the views and experiences from the athletes’ perspective.

“Often, choices are made for athletes without athletes being involved in the decision-making process. The London 2017 bid believed it was essential to include the athlete experience and recommendations, and use this important information to make the London 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships the best ever.”


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