Organisers announce 2017 World Athletics Championships marathon route
Athletics

Organisers announce 2017 World Athletics Championships marathon route

17 November 2016 / 16:59

London's streets will be paved with gold again next summer after the route for the World Championship marathons was revealed.

Organisers have delivered on their promise to take the road events into the heart of the capital with London’s postcard landmarks providing the backdrop.

The 26.2-mile marathon route will see runners start and finish at Tower Bridge, competing over four laps of a 10km course featuring the Houses of Parliament and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Elsewhere, the race walk route, will comprise a 2km loop along the Mall between Buckingham Palace and Admiralty Arch.

“What better than to have the World Championships in this city, showcasing some of the most recognisable landmarks on the planet, and the best athletes doing that for us,” said Lord Coe, president of the International Athletics Associations Federation.

“I have to say, this is a very special course. It’s one that is known to millions and millions of people and will be a very special event.

“When you start talking about the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London itself, and some of the other extraordinary landscapes that this city has, it’s just a small part of the city.

“But actually, for every athlete, no matter where they come from, people back home watching them are going to recognise it all. That’s something that no other city can really claim and it’s a great opportunity.

“All World Championship courses want to showcase the best of their cities and the best of their communities. 

“The great inspiration, particularly for young people, to want to think that this sport is for them, is to know that they can access it.

“I hope that a few of those young people, sitting and standing along the course, are going to go on and join an athletics club, and become a part of our family.”

Negotiations to lock down the capital have been ongoing with Transport for London and the Mayor’s Office, with both races schedule for Sunday to minimise disruption.

Medallists from both men’s and women’s races will receive their medals in front of the Tower of London where a medal stage and supporter zone will be created to make the most of the day’s world championship atmosphere.

“It’s been a long time in the planning because it’s a big city is London, but to have got the course that we have, going right through the centre of the town, that’s something they didn’t even manage to pull off for the Olympics,” said Niels de Vos, UK Athletics chief executive.

“I think it’s going to go down in history as one of the best World Championship courses ever.

“If you drew a cartoon map of ‘the things you want to see in London in a couple of hours’, our runners are going to go past them all.

“I think London, we know, will come out in huge numbers for this event, they do every year for big events, and because it is the centre of London, we’re going to have a tunnel of noise all the way round this course.”

Meanwhile, less than a second separated him from a podium spot at this summer’s Olympic Games in  Rio, but British race walker Tom Bosworth is confident home support can roar him to gold as the IAAF World Athletics Championships come to London next year.

Bosworth, a five-time British record holder, placed sixth at his maiden Games in Rio, finishing just 0.76 seconds short of a bronze medal in a time of 1:20.13.

But, as the route for the London 2017 route was announced on Thursday, the 26-year-old insists medalling on home soil could prove to be the pinnacle of his career thus far.

“My race is on a 2k lap, which means I’ll have to do ten of those, but in all honesty, I can’t wait,” said Bosworth.

“My event is often the overlooked event of athletics, but next summer, it certainly won’t be anymore.

“I’m hoping thousands will turn out to cheer me home because it is such an iconic location, possibly the best location that we’ve ever had a race walk.

“The home World Championships feels like a second Olympics for me, Rio was an amazing experience, I feel like I overachieved, but it’s spurred me on to go out there and fight for a medal on home turf in front of the Queen.

“The Olympic Games is always going to be the pinnacle for athletics, but perhaps London 2017 is going to overtake it, and hopefully, if I get the result, it will be the greatest moment of my career to date.”

Sportsbeat 2016

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