BEIJING—In what is considered a bit of a surprise, Eugene was awarded the 2021 IAAF World Track & Field Championships this afternoon during a meeting of the IAAF Council.
The proposal to give Eugene the world championships was taken in response to what was seen as a unique strategic opportunity to stage the world championships in the United States.
Eugene, which hosted the 2014 world junior championships (above/photo by Paul Merca) bid for the 2019 world championships, and lost out to Doha, Qatar. In its presentation, Eugene stated that both private and public monies would be used to stage the meet, with the support of the US Olympic Committee, USA Track & Field, and a commitment by NBC to produce & broadcast the meet.
If you’re wondering whether or not the Council has bypassed the bidding process before, there is precedence, as the 2007 meet was awarded to Osaka without a bid.
In a prepared statement, IAAF president Lamine Diack (left, with Vin Lananna/photo courtesy IAAF) said, “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.”
“We are deeply honored to be given the opportunity to host the world’s greatest track and field athletes on U.S. soil,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said. “We thank President Diack and the IAAF Council for entrusting this meet to the United States. Team USA has established itself as the most successful track and field team in the world. We now have the opportunity and duty to rise to the same level as hosts of these championships.”
TrackTown USA president and former University of Oregon coach Vin Lananna, who led Eugene's bid for the championships, commented: "I thank President Diack, the Council and USATF President Stephanie Hightower and CEO Max Siegel in supporting the bid. We promise to deliver an outstanding championships for the sport of track and field in America and around the world."
According to the Oregonian’s Ken Goe, the decision to award the championships gives Eugene five years to address infrastructure issues in the city, including hotels which were a factor in awarding the meet to Doha for 2019.