London is preparing a bid for the 2017 World Athletics Championships, with the government promising its full support. We can’t imagine the suits at WAC HQ are thrilled by the prospect.
Why not? Well, London has something of a reputation for making abortive attempts to host the biennial tournament. Prior to winning the Olympics, we planned to bid for the 2005 Championships, but pulled out when a planned stadium in Pickett’s Lock, Edmonton was kyboshed by ministers. London subsequently launched a bid for the 2015 Championships; this was also jettisoned late last year, with officials reasoning that the then-uncertain future of the Olympic Stadium meant a bid was perhaps unwise.
The Olympic conundrum has now been resolved, Tottenham’s ongoing legal maneuvers notwithstanding. The question is, will the bid succeed? England’s quixotic attempt to snare the 2018 World Cup failed miserably last year, and one could forgive the WAC organisers for being less than impressed by London’s dilly-dallying over previous bids. In our favour is the fact that we’ve never staged the Championships before, and we have a shiny new stadium in which to host them.
Competition will come from Doha, Budapest and an unnamed Spanish city, and the decision will be announced in November.