The United States will host their first ever IAAF World Championships, after Eugene, Oregon was unexpectedly named as the host city for the 2021 edition.
Eugene, also known as Tracktown USA was overlooked for the championships in 2019 which went to Doha, but handed the major event to be held two years later after a meeting in Beijing.
“In granting the championships to Eugene the IAAF Council have made a clear choice on a strategic decision that enables us to take advantage of a unique opportunity that may never arise again, whereby public authorities, the private sector, the national Olympic Committee, NBC and a particularly enthusiastic public are joining forces,” Diack said in a statement.
Surprisingly, Eugene was awarded the championships without any formal bidding phase. This is not the first time this has occurred, with Osaka, Japan also handed the Championships without a voting process in 2007. Diack believes a major event in Oregon takes advantage of a developed audience with a hunger for the sport:
“Although this decision departs from the usual procedure, I am delighted that my Council colleagues understood the enormous opportunity presented to us to access a key market and have taken a decision in the interest of the global development of our sport,” Diack added.
Eugene is nicknamed Tracktown USA for a reason, and has a great athletics pedigree. It hosted the IAAF World Junior Championships last year and is the home of the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League event every year. The West Coast city has hosted multiple national championships and US Olympic trials.
The US have been gunning the right to host a number of athletics events in recent years, and were overlooked for the 2019 World Championships. They have also confirmed a bid for Boston to host the 2024 Olympic Games.