Diack: "Moscow will deliver a wonderful championships"
Following a two-day meeting of the IAAF Council held in Moscow last weekend IAAF President Lamine Diack on Monday (8 April) chaired an IAAF Press Conference with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of Moscow 2013 in the Radisson Royal Hotel.
Joining President Diack were IAAF Vice President Sergey Bubka, Head of Moscow Sports Committee Aleksey Vorobyov, Valentin Balakhnichev IAAF Treasurer & President of the All Russian Athletics Federation, Aleksandr Polinskiy Executive Director of the Moscow 2013 LOC and Director of Moscow Directorate of sports and entertainment events.
The IAAF President reviewed the results Counsil meeting, one of which was an approval of IAAF strategic plan until 2016. Lamine Diack also thanked the LOC for the hospitality and good working conditions for the meeting and gave a high estimate to the Moscow 2013 progress report.
“There is an exceptional level of cooperation between the IAAF and the Local Organising Committee (of Moscow 2013), and the organisational structure for the Championships is strong. It is not often at sporting events that you find the athletes staying in 4 star hotels. Everyone will live like kings this August. I don’t see any issues with the organisation of these World Championships and we are confident that Moscow will deliver a wonderful championships.”
The IAAF President also called for more proactive approach in terms of promotional activities. “We are doing a lot to organize this event. And you, journalists, in your turn, need to write about the event to attract more spectators. I was surprised when one month before Berlin 2009 I hadn’t seen any event advertising in Berlin airport. And it was the event where Usain Bolt set his world record! Last year in London there were no issues with promotion and you saw how full the stands were for every session”.
Sergey Bubka, who heads the IAAF Co-ordination Commission for Moscow 2013, emphasized that the preparation process goes according to plan.
“The technical preparations are on schedule to deliver a great Championships, Luzhniki Stadium which hosted the 1980 Olympic Games is one of the iconic sports venues of the world, and the competition facilities are of the highest level. The stadium’s main track and the warm-up track are being renewed, with 90% of the work on the main arena having been completed. The Olympic Complex also has three other 400m tracks for warm-up.”
“Our promotional plan is built on the firm foundations that Russia is an established Athletics country. Russian athletes lead the world, coming second only to the USA in the medal tables in London and at the last World Championships in Daegu. Our aim is to create a young enthusiastic atmosphere in the stadium by introducing the youth of Russia to our sport live, building the next generation of Athletics fans. We are backing that campaign by using athletics legends such as Wilson Kipketer, Mike Powell and many others as special IAAF Ambassadors for Moscow 2013, giving youth master-classes in Russia in the build-up to the championships”.
Aleksey Vorobyov thanked the IAAF representatives for the positive estimate of LOC activities and took time to reassure the media that the official vehicles of the event will benefit from the use of the dedicated lanes to avoid Moscow’s heavy traffic. The final transportation scheme will be developed by the end of May.
Alexandr Polinskiy noted that the advertising campaign for Moscow 2013 started as early as last year and it keeps getting more and more extensive. The advertising will be all around: on the TV, on the radio, in movie theatres, on the Web, on billboards. He also announced that the LOC is working on a simplified visa procedures for the accredited persons. “Moreover, the document that would advise to all the Consulates to apply a fee waiver for Moscow 2013 participants and guests is now being discussed by the Russian Government. I hope that this document will soon be approved”, Polinskiy stated.