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Athletics: US city of Eugene to host 2021 world champs

AFP , Thursday 16 Apr 2015
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The IAAF on Thursday awarded the world athletics championships to the United States for the first time, bypassing its normal bid process to give the 2021 event to the Oregon city of Eugene.

Athletics governing body said the decision to directly award the event to Eugene was "in response to what was seen as a unique strategic opportunity" of having the event in the United States.

Sports equipment giant Nike was founded in Eugene and the US city lost out on the 2019 world championships to Qatar's capital Doha.

But the IAAF said the 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".

IAAF president Lamine Diack, who is to step down in August, said it was "a strategic decision that enables us to take advantage of a unique opportunity that may never arise again" and was taken "in the interest of the global development of our sport".

An IAAF statement released after a meeting of its governing council in Beijing said Eugene's bid "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".

The governing body said there was a precedent for giving the championships without a bid process.

The 2007 championships in Osaka, Japan were also awarded without a bidding process.

The world championships are held every two years, and this year they are taking place in the Chinese capital from August 22-30.

The 2017 edition will be in London. They have previously been held in various European capitals, Canada's Edmonton, and twice in Japan.

Eugene's bid leader Vin Lananna said: "We promise to deliver an outstanding championships for the sport of track and field in America and around the world."

The world indoor athletics championships will be held next year in the Oregon city of Portland, where Nike has its headquarters.

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