Hosting worlds in Eugene hailed as a 'bold move'

Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:31pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

(Reuters) - United States athletics officials hailed the IAAF's awarding of the 2021 world championships to Eugene, Oregon on Thursday as a "bold decision", dismissing European grumblings as disappointment they had all experienced.

"They (the International Association of Athletics Federation) deserve a lot of credit for stepping up and making a bold decision to accept this bid outside the process," TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna said during a conference call.

Eugene, which earlier this year lost out in a close vote to Doha 15-12 to stage the 2019 world championships, was surprisingly named as the 2021 host on Thursday following an IAAF council meeting in Beijing.

IAAF president Lamine Diack said the decision to skip the normal bidding process had been made after the sport's world governing body had heard submissions from the governor of Oregon, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and television broadcaster NBC about the benefits of staging the championships in the United States.

Nicknamed TrackTown USA, Eugene has been the site of the past two U.S. Olympic trials and will host the 2016 competition to select the American team for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

While USA Track and Field and TrackTown USA celebrated on Thursday, European disappointment was quick to surface.

'LACK OF PROCESS'   Continued...

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Lamine Diack attends a news conference for the Diamond League athletics meet in Doha May 5, 2011. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad