The World Race Walking Team Championships will take place in Italy and the World U20 Championships in Poland following the suspension of original host Russia
Rome has been awarded this year’s IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships, while the IAAF World U20 Championships will take place in Bydgoszcz.
An accelerated bidding process took place for the two events following the suspension of the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) as an IAAF member in November. The World U20 Championships had originally been due to take place in Kazan, while the World Race Walking Team Championships had been set for Cheboksary.
Italian capital Rome received the most votes to stage the race walk event, to take place from May 7-8, ahead of Guayaquil in Ecuador, Kiev in Ukraine and Monterrey in Mexico. Polish city Bydgoszcz was the sole bidder for the under-20 event, to be held from July 19-24, after Australia and India submitted letters of interest but did not follow that up with official bids.
Bydgoszcz has hosted the junior meeting before, in 2008, while the World Cross has also taken place in the Polish city twice, in 2010 and 2013.
A total of 19 IAAF Council members took part in the vote for the World Race Walking Team Championships, with Rome getting nine votes, Guayaquil four, Kiev four and Monterrey two.
The IAAF explained how the world governing body’s president Seb Coe did not participate in the vote “for the sake of neutrality as the head of the Council”. He will also not vote in any future host city decisions.
“Many congratulations to Rome and Bydgoszcz,” commented Coe. “The speed in which you assembled detailed applications and at such short notice has been inspiring. Your bids were impressive and we look forward to celebrating the achievements of the world’s best race walkers and under-20 aged athletes in your cities.
“I gratefully acknowledge the interest shown by all the member federations who took part in this process. Thank you on behalf of the athletes for helping us to ensure that these competitions will take place.”