EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Athletics officials awarded the 2025 world championships to Tokyo on Thursday, bringing runners, jumpers and throwers home from last year’s Olympics, where they competed in front of stands mostly empty.
The World Athletics Council awarded the championships in a bidding contest that also included Nairobi, Kenya; Silesia, Poland; and Singapore.
World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said the vote was close, but Japan won thanks to, among other things, the “human resources” available in Tokyo to stage the event and strong business partnerships.
He hasn’t ruled out the possibility that the track’s flagship event will one day travel to Kenya or another country in Africa – a continent that has never hosted the event.
“It’s really important that we work with Africans to make sure their time comes, and their time comes at the right time,” Coe said.
Japan has spent more than $1.4 billion building the stadium for the Olympics, which were postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and then staged last summer under restrictions that prevented fans to attend.
Tokyo’s state-of-the-art track helped Sydney McLaughlin and Karsten Warholm break each of the world records in their 400m hurdles final. Warholm ran in 45.94 seconds and McLaughlin finished in 51.46 but broke that record earlier this year (51.41) in Eugene.
Elaine Thompson-Herah finished the 100m in 10.61 seconds to break Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 33-year-old Olympic record.
This year’s world championships, which begin Friday at Hayward Stadium in Eugene, have also been pushed back a year due to the pandemic. Next year’s games will be held in Budapest, Hungary.
Coe said losing cities have expressed interest in the next round of bidding, for the 2027 and 2029 championships.
World Athletics also awarded its cross country championships to Medulin, Croatia in 2024 and Tallahassee, Florida in 2026.
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