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Opinion : Is London the athletics capital of the world?

| August 13, 2017

Over the past few I have enjoyed a most wonderful time attending the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London.

What a feast of athletic action there has been. First there was the ParaAthletics then shortly after the IAAF World Championships, all taking place just a short journey from High Wycombe.

Luckily I managed to get many tickets to see the action and have been a regular visitor to the sessions that comprised London 2017. When not at the stadium in person the action could be viewed on TV at my neighbours house.

With an excellent train service to London Marylebone and easy connections to Stratford using the Jubilee Line the journey time from my arm chair at home to my seat in the former Olympic Stadium is less than one and a half hours.

Both the ParaAthletics and IAAF World Championships were roaring successes with the largest crowds attending both events in their history.

The tremendous support from the public prompts me to ask the question ‘Is London the athletics capital of the world?‘. I certainly think it is both for facilities and for the support of the fans.

Sadly today, Sunday 13th August 2017, is the last day of competition at London 2017 and in just a few hours time the stadium will fall silent to track and field events until the once yearly two day Diamond League Anniversary Games, the next of which are scheduled for the end of July 2018.

Amazingly the best athletic stadium in the world doesn’t have any major world, continental or national level championships scheduled to take place there in future years.

Isn’t it time a bid was put in to get the Commonwealth Games to London? What about the European Athletics Championships, British Athletic Championships or even the World Masters Athletics Championships?

Maybe the IAAF World Championships could return one day after all Germany has hosted the event in 1993 and 2009?

The British public are desperate to see top class athletes performing but their appetite is being throttled.

Surely it’s best that world class athletes compete in a stadium full of ecstatic supporters creating a wall of noise to spur them on to achieve new world records rather than holding championships in half empty venues on the other side of the world?

When the floodlights are switched off in London later this evening there will be hundreds of thousands of athletics fans left sitting at home while the worlds best athletics stadium lays silent. This is such a shame.

What do you think?

My blogs are published every Tuesday and Friday evening around 8.00pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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