x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Beijing to bid for 2015 athletics championships

Chinese media report that the 2008 Olympic Games hosts will bid for the world championships in 2015.

BEIJING // Beijing will bid for the 2015 athletics world championships, Chinese media reported, pitting the host of the 2008 Olympic Games with other contenders including Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro. The city's sports authority contacted IAAF officials in Berlin last month, and the world athletics governing body will soon come to check facilities, probably in October, Beijing sports bureau chief Sun Kanglin told the Beijing Youth Daily.

The facilities will include the iconic National "Bird's Nest" Stadium that was built for the Olympics. It has not staged any athletics event since last year's Summer Games. Sun said the opportunity to host the track and field event would not only move Beijing towards its goal of becoming an international sports centre but would also reflect China's rising stature as a global sporting and economic power.

The biennial event has never been staged in China but other Asian cities have played host to it, including the 2007 world championships in Osaka, Japan. The 2011 event will be in Daegu, South Korea and the 2013 worlds in Moscow. * Reuters