For the first time in their history, the United States is hosting the World Athletics Championships. Eugene, the American cradle of the sport, will be the scene of the 18th edition of the major Olympic sport from July 15 to 24 at the University of Oregon’s iconic Tartan of Hayward Field. Originally scheduled for the summer of 2021, the worlds have been postponed by a year to avoid competing with the Tokyo Olympics, and have been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Incongruous as it may seem, the World Championships and the Olympic Games have never had the privilege of organizing a World Championship in the history of athletics. And what better place to host these worlds than in Eugene, which calls itself the “World Capital of Athletics” or “Tracktown USA” (America’s City of Athletics, editor’s note)? After hosting fourteen U.S. championships and seven “trials” (U.S. selections for the Olympic Games, editor’s note), Eugene, the site of the Prefontaine Classic, will host a Diamond League meet since 2010, bringing together 1,972 athletes. From 192 countries for 10 days. They will compete for 49 gold medals there Eugene and his university’s history is closely tied to the American giant Nike. It was actually the Oregon Ducks, coach and player Bill Bowerman and Bill Knight, who were at the origin of the multinational formation. Knight has been heavily involved in renovating Hayward Field for the Worlds, thanks to a large donation. Built in 1919, it was completely transformed in summer 2018 and spring 2020. (Belga)
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