(ATR) Several important meetings are taking place surrounding the 2017 International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships that begin this week.
IOC president Thomas Bach (l) and IAAF president Sebastian Coe (Getty Images)
The 16th edition of the flagship event begins in London on Friday, Aug. 4 at the London 2012 Olympic Stadium. Before the nine-day competition gets underway, leaders of both the IAAF and International Olympic Committee will gather to talk about governance and clean sport.
The IAAF and IOC will hold a joint meeting of their respective Council and Executive Committee members on Aug. 4 following the conclusion of the IAAF Congress. The IAAF and IOC traditionally hold their joint meeting every other year before the start of the championships. The meeting will be held at the Marriott West India Quay.
A solo IAAF Council meeting kicks off the week on July 31, led by IAAF president Sebastian Coe. According to Russian news agency TASS, chairman of the IAAF Taskforce overseeing Russia’s reinstatement, Rune Andersen, will provide the Council with an update regarding the country’s progress in implementing better anti-doping practices.
Andersen is also expected to deliver a report to the entirety of the IAAF membership at the IAAF Congress that begins Aug. 2 at the ExCel London. The taskforce chairman will discuss the 19 Russian athletes who have been approved to enter the championships as neutral competitors as well as the efforts of the Russian Athletics Federation to be reinstated to the IAAF.
The first day of the IAAF Congress is set aside for the first edition of Athletics Connect, a convention “designed to inspire, inform, create discussion and provide opportunities to network,” according to the IAAF.
The convention features 12 keynote speakers including the opening remarks from president Coe. There will also be 10 panel discussions focused on four themes: Governance & Integrity, Development and Coaching, Event Presentation & Technology and Fan & Partner Engagement.
The second day of the Congress is composed of a general plenary session for IAAF members where Andersen is expected to make his presentation. Following the close of the congress, London 2017 organizers and IAAF leaders will hold a joint press conference to mark the final countdown to the World Championships.
The IAAF Council will meet once more at the close of the World Championships on Saturday, Aug. 13.
IAAF Expects Records to Be Broken
London Olympic Stadium (Getty Images)
The IAAF World Championships provides a platform for the world’s greatest jumpers, runners and throwers to leave their marks on the athletics record books. However, athletic achievements are not the only records expected to be broken over the next two weeks in London.
Approximately 2,000 athletes from more than 200 countries are competing in the 16th edition of the championships. Their opportunities to claim a gold medal and title of world’s greatest in their discipline are expected to draw in an audience of six billion viewers across 200 territories.
The 2017 championships also outpaced the ticket sales of all previous editions, with more than 660,000 tickets sold to date.
The IAAF has yet to release tickets for many of the more anticipated events such as Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt’s final championship 100 meter race. Bolt says he will retire from the sport after this season concludes. Tickets to his final World Championship race and other events will be released on Aug. 1.
The championships conclude on Aug. 13.
ITF Set to Approve Davis, Fed Cup Reforms
A series of reforms for Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas is on the verge of becoming a reality.
ITF working to reform Davis Cup and Fed Cup (Getty Images)
The International Tennis Federation Board of Directors approved recommendations including reducing all singles matches in Davis Cup to best-of-three sets from best-of-five and guaranteeing the finalists in both Davis Cup and Fed Cup the choice of hosting their first round tie in the following year.
The reforms were approved by the executives at its meeting in June.
The latter change is tied to a move to have fixed venue finals for the two competitions. The ITF says bids have been received and are being assessed and that the Board will reconvene later this month.
The ITF Conference and Annual General Meeting will be asked to approve the reforms at the session in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam this week. The conference and AGM are being held from Aug. 1-4.
“Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas are two of the most iconic team competitions in sport, but there is no doubt change is needed to ensure that we maximize their full potential,” ITF President David Haggerty said in a statement.
“While still needing AGM approval, we are confident that our National Associations will see that to vote for these reforms is to vote for the long-term future of our competitions and our sport.”
Austria Welcomes Beach Volleyball Championships
Vienna is staging the 2017 World Championships. (Sebastian Marko)
The world’s best beach volleyball players are in Vienna, Austria this week for the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) World Championships 2017.
The world championships began on July 28 as 48 men’s and women’s teams began their trek through the 10-day tournament. Now in its 11th edition, the competitors are seeking bragging rights and the $1 million in cash prizes available.
This year marks the second time the tournament is being held in Austria, following Klagenfurt 16 years ago.
“The FIVB and the entire volleyball family is looking forward to experiencing the warm welcome and fantastic hosting credentials that Austria has already showed us when the country staged the 2001 Beach Volleyball World Championships in Klagenfurt,” FIVB president Ary Graça said in a statement.
Two men and two women will be crowned beach volleyball champions on Aug. 6.
Around the Rings
reporter Brian Pinelli will be on the scene for the championship bouts of the tournament.
Written by Kevin Nutley and Written by Gerard Farek.
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