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Seb Coe announces candidacy for IAAF presidency

Seb Coe announces candidacy for IAAF presidency

Two-time Olympic champion and IAAF vice president to release his election manifesto in early December

Seb Coe has confirmed that he is to stand for presidency of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The two-time Olympic gold medallist is currently a vice president of the world governing body for the sport of athletics and has made no secret of his hope to succeed Lamine Diack, who is to step down next year having been IAAF president since 1999.

Coe, who led London’s successful 2012 Olympic and Paralympic bid and chaired the London 2012 organising committee, set 12 world records over middle distances during his athletics career before he retired from competitive track and field action in 1990.

The 58-year-old said his manifesto will “highlight the importance of our sport embracing innovation and change as we move forward”.

He is expected to face competition for presidency from Ukraine’s pole vault great Sergey Bubka, though Coe’s fellow IAAF vice president is yet to formally announce his candidacy.

On his decision to stand for the position of IAAF president, Coe – pictured above with 2014 world athletes of the year Renaud Lavillenie and Valerie Adams – said: “For as long as I can remember, I have woken knowing that athletics, in some way, would shape my day.

“As a young boy, running was the thing that I loved beyond anything else and I have been hugely fortunate that athletics has been at the centre of my life ever since,” added Coe, who won his two Olympic golds over 1500m in 1980 and 1984.

“As I speak to friends and colleagues around our great sport I appreciate that we are entering a very important time for athletics and that it is the right time to open up a discussion about the future.

“That discussion needs to focus on how we build on the many achievements of recent years, recognise that we have new challenges in a new era and how we can tackle those challenges with vision and ambition. I believe I have something to offer to that debate and it is why I am today officially announcing my candidacy for the presidency of the IAAF.

“Throughout all my sporting roles I have always put the interest of athletics first and been independent enough to do the right thing for our sport. This will be my approach in the campaign and, in full partnership with the member federations, it will be the cornerstone of my presidency if granted the great honour of being elected IAAF president.

“I will set out my detailed proposals for athletics and the IAAF when I publish my manifesto. It will highlight the importance of our sport embracing innovation and change as we move forward. I want us to have a renewed focus on engagement with young people and a real understanding of the global landscape that is shaping the next generation of athletes and fans.

“If we are guided by these principles as we review and reform our sport then I am convinced that athletics can enter a new era with confidence and ensure a bright and exciting future.”

IAAF member federations are due to decide on Diack’s successor in August 2015 during Congress in Beijing.

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