Coe targets IAAF presidency

Published: Thursday 27th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Sebastian Coe has officially launched his campaign for the IAAF presidency – one of the most powerful positions in sport.

Lord Coe, currently a vice-president of athletics’ world governing body, has formally announced that he is to stand to succeed Lamine Diack, who is stepping down next year after being IAAF president since 1999.

Coe, the double Olympic champion who headed the London 2012 organising committee and is the current British Olympic Association chairman, is expected to unveil his election manifesto as early as next week. He is likely to face competition from Sergei Bubka, the Ukrainian former pole vault champion who is also an IAAF vice-president.

Coe said: “For as long as I can remember, I have woken knowing that athletics, in some way, would shape my day. As a young boy, running was the thing that I loved beyond anything else and I have been hugely fortunate that athletics has been at the centre of my life ever since.

“As I speak to friends and colleagues around our great sport I appreciate that we are entering a very important time for athletics and that it is the right time to open up a discussion about the future.

“That discussion needs to focus on how we build on the many achievements of recent years, recognise that we have new challenges in a new era and how we can tackle those challenges with vision and ambition. I believe I have something to offer to that debate and it is why I am today officially announcing my candidacy for the presidency of the IAAF.”

Coe’s chances of winning the election are good – Bubka’s decision to stand for the presidency of the International Olympic Committee in 2013 backfired when he attracted only four votes in the final round of voting, and that will have not helped his IAAF ambitions.

Another person viewed as a possible candidate is Nawal El Moutawakel, the former Moroccan hurdler and the first female African-born Muslim to become an Olympic champion. She however is viewed as having an outside chance.

The deadline for candidates to register they are standing for the presidency is May 2015 and the election will take place at the IAAF Congress in Beijing in August.

Coe has previously spoken of his belief that athletics needs to focus on being more attractive to young people and that is expected to be a key part of his manifesto.

He added: “Throughout all my sporting roles I have always put the interest of athletics first and been independent enough to do the right thing for our sport.

“This will be my approach in the campaign and, in full partnership with the member federations, it will be the cornerstone of my presidency if granted the great honour of being elected IAAF president.

“I will set out my detailed proposals for athletics and the IAAF when I publish my manifesto. It will highlight the importance of our sport embracing innovation and change as we move forward.

“I want us to have a renewed focus on engagement with young people and a real understanding of the global landscape that is shaping the next generation of athletes and fans.

“If we are guided by these principles as we review and reform our sport then I am convinced that athletics can enter a new era with confidence and ensure a bright and exciting future.”

Published: Thursday 27th November 2014 by The News Editor

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