The tension and anticipation is soaring up as the clock is ticking the hours away towards crunch time, around 4pm GMT, as London and Doha will be engaging in the final act of the battle for the right to host the 2017 World Championships, with plenty at stake on both sides.
For London there is more than the prestige of staging yet another major sport event in quick succession on the Olympics in the forthcoming summer. A winning decision is going to be instrumental in retaining the athletics legacy of the new-buit Olympic stadium at Stratford and keeping the momentum going for the following five years after London’s Olympics showpiece. There is nothing but the most important piece missing to complete the picture.
Interestingly, the presentation of the bid will be entrusted with two women who represent the glorious past and athletics tradition in the shape of Sydney heptathlon champion Denise Lewis, heading up the scheme, and the golden future of the sport in teenage sprint prodigy Jodie Williams. That could turn a brilliant stroke on the part of the London team particularly stressing silently the opposite reality of Doha in that aspect.
But maybe a good deal of the British capital’s fortunes will lie again with a man lying and watching a little further behind; Sebastian Coe, the talisman of British athletics as he has emerged to be and the bearer of powerful influence both as a former great of the track and a vice president of the IAAF currently. Could he apply his ‘Midas’ touch once again?
Undoubtedly, London has so much going for it and holds so many advantages over Doha to claim the precious prize. The infrastructure to stage such an event is sound and already in place, there is a rich tradition and legacy running through the entire history of the sport, the guarantee of large knowledgeable crowds packing the Olympic stadium session in session out, by far better and more conductive competitive conditions and the city itself shapes a pulsating multicultural hub of the modern world second maybe only to New York.
There have been vivid latest rumours and speculation that IAAF may opt to please both sides and hand over a global championships to London and Doha apiece between 2017 and 2019. But there is nothing more than speculation to that at the moment whereas the championships at stake is “what London will be able to deliver” in the worlds of Coe. Which makes the final decision so crucial later today.
Hopefully, everything is going to work in London’s favour to hold all the aces today (11-11-11) and this day is not only going to serve as ‘Remembrance Day’ but also as a day to remember for years to come.