London, Doha go head-to-head for 2017 athletics

London or Doha will be named 2017 world athletics championships hosts by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Friday.

The 26 IAAF council members who will vote must decide between London’s campaign as the “athletes choice” and the promise of sell-out crowds in the Olympic Stadium or take the track and field global showpiece to an untapped and undeveloped athletics market.

Neither city has hosted the biennial championships since they began in 1983. A decision is expected around 4pm.

London’s bid team have expressed quiet confidence that, after previous failed attempts to stage the championships and confusion over the future of the Olympic stadium, the time is right to fulfil legacy promises made after securing the 2012 Olympic Games.

Doha’s bid is part of oil-rich Qatar’s campaign to promote itself as a hub for international sport. The desert nation will host the 2022 soccer World Cup and is also bidding for the 2020 Olympic Games.—Reuters

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