London was today formally accepted by the IAAF as a candidate city to host the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships. The London 2017 bid has been put together by UK Athletics, DCMS, the Mayor of London, London & Partners and UK Sport.
London 2017 would see one of the world's greatest sporting events held in one of the world's greatest cities in an Olympic Stadium full of passionate fans representing every one of the IAAF's 212 member nations.
'Athletics sits at the heart of all sports,' said Lord Coe, Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee. 'We know we have a country and a city full of passionate athletics fans. I can't think of a more fitting tribute to celebrate the fifth birthday of the Olympic Stadium in London in 2017 than by having thousands of these fans gather once again and cheer the world's greatest sports stars. Bringing the World Championships to London would grow the sport commercially; increase the fan base and continue to drive the inspirational power of sport, particularly athletics, to young people in our own country and around the world.'
UKA, the National Governing Body for athletics, has submitted the bid in partnership with the DCMS, the Mayor of London, London & Partners and UK Sport, and is supported by the Olympic Park Legacy Company.
Sport and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson said: 'We are delighted that the IAAF has accepted our candidature and thank them for the opportunity to bid to host the World Championships in London. The British public has a passion for athletics and bringing the World Championships to our country would build on the enthusiasm for the sport generated by London 2012. The bid has the full backing of the British Government and I look forward to working with UK Athletics and the Mayor of London to demonstrate to the IAAF why these Championships should come to London for the first time.'
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'I'm delighted that London will be considered as a host for the 2017 World Championships. This gives us the perfect opportunity to build on the momentum of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and would be a real boost in cementing a lasting sporting legacy for London well into the future.
'I'm confident we will put together an incredibly strong bid which will show off not just the huge enthusiasm Londoners have for athletics, but also the world-class package the capital can offer in hosting these exciting and inspiring sports.'
UKA Chairman Ed Warner said: 'There is a real desire in the UK to host the IAAF World Athletics Championships. 2017 would deliver a true Olympic legacy and with almost 2 million fans signing up for London 2012 athletics tickets there is a huge appetite for our sport in the capital. Today's confirmation means we can now put months of planning into action. Our aim is to present a compelling bid to the IAAF in November.'
Simon Morton, Director of Major Events and International Relations at UK Sport, who are backing the bid through their Lottery funded events programme, said: 'The IAAF World Athletics Championships is our number one event hosting target beyond 2012. This event is important for London, and the UK, in bringing to life our legacy vision, and we look forward to demonstrating to the international athletics community what London can offer to this great event.'
Iain Edmondson, Head of Major Events at London & Partners said 'As the official promotional agency for London it is our aspiration to make London recognised globally as the best big city on earth and its events the most exciting in the world. The IAAF World Championships has a huge reach across the globe so there isn’t a better event to build on the success of London 2012.'
And following the recent conclusion of the 13th IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu, Korea, World Champions Dai Greene and Dwight Phillips also added their support to London's bid.
'There is so much interest in athletics in the UK, two million people went for Olympic tickets and I know other athletes would enjoy coming to London to compete,' said newly crowned 400mH champion Greene. 'It would be superb from my point of view…I’d love to compete at the Olympic Stadium in 2017.'
Phillips, the USA's four times World long jump champion, added: 'I'll be very removed from the sport by then, but it would be really great. The people in Britain know so much about our sport and they really support it. I might not be a competitor in 2017, but I’d want to come to London and be a spectator.'
The official London 2017 website is live now at: www.uka.org.uk/london2017
Notes to Editors
UKA is the National Governing Body of the premier Olympic and Paralympic sport. We aspire to be a world leading sporting organisation delivering clear and inspirational leadership for athletics to ensure a vibrant and empowered sport at every level that can evolve to meet every challenge. We work with Home Country Federations and other partners to secure and distribute funding and develop policies for key areas and implementation at the appropriate levels, giving support and strategic guidance. For more information visit www.uka.org.uk
Aviva has been supporting British athletes since 1999 and is helping pave the way for their success by hosting six world class athletics events on home soil – The Aviva Series, supporting the Aviva GB&NI junior, senior and Paralympics teams as they prepare for all major championships. Through the Aviva Athletics Academy, we are also providing the opportunity for the next generation to get involved in athletics.
Aviva is the world's sixth largest insurance group. We provide more than 53 million customers with insurance, savings and investment products with total worldwide sales in 2010 of £47.1 billion. Visit the Aviva media centre at aviva.digitalnewsagency.com for photography, video and news releases. For more information on our athletics sponsorship please visit aviva.co.uk/athletics
Rebecca Smith, PR Manager, London & Partners
0207 234 5861
Claire Furlong, Head of Communications, UK Athletics
M: 07701 099 764