In a closely fought competition to stage the 10th edition of the IAAF World Championships in Athletics, the IAAF Council has selected the Finnish capital Helsinki as Host City.

It took six rounds of voting including elimination rounds before the Council were able to reach an absolute majority in favour of Helsinki.

Helsinki staged the inaugural edition of the IAAF World Championships in 1983.

According to the established procedure, the city with the lowest number of votes would be eliminated in each round of voting until an overall majority was achieved.

In the first round, three cities were in the same position at the bottom of the table: Brussels, Moscow and Rome, another draw was therefore necessary to eliminate one city. Moscow was eliminated.

In the second round it was the turn of Rome and Brussels. In a further eliminatory vote, Brussels fell out.

In the third round, Rome was eliminated.

The fourth round was decisive. With Berlin, Budapest and Helsinki remaining, Helsinki received an absolute majority to win the contest.

Following the announcement of the winner, IAAF President Lamine Diack said: ‘First of all, I would like to congratulate all of the contenders. We have shown with this bidding process that concluded here in Nairobi that there is tremendous interest world wide in our sport.

‘It was not easy for the Council to select one candidate and it took more than 40 minutes. However, now I am confident that we have chosen the city that offered the best conditions for these World Championships.

‘We believe that Helsinki will guarantee a full stadium throughout the competition, as our sport is the number one sport in Finland. The television production we can expect to be of the highest quality since Finnish television has provided coverage of the athletics at every Olympic Games since 1988.

‘With regard to the athletes, I am convinced that we are offering them the best possible conditions, both for training and competition. There is a beautiful athletes village, there are no transport problems and all facilities are within walking distance.’

The leader of the Finnish delegation, State Councillor Harri Holkeri said, ‘I am delighted that Helsinki, which was the first City to host an IAAF World Championships in Athletics, has been entrusted to do the job again.

‘This bidding competition has been a very tough one and we have a high respect for all of the competitors. We were ready to congratulate any of the other cities.

‘You have our word that the 2005 World Championships will be a great success. The whole of Finnish society will be supporting this from tomorrow!’

For further information please contact:

Nick Davies
T: +33 6 0793 6285