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UK Athletics

Edinburgh to host 2008 IAAF World Cross Country

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Following a bid presentation on Tuesday afternoon, the IAAF have confirmed that the 2008 IAAF World Cross Country Championships will be staged in Edinburgh.


The event which will be staged at Holyrood Park aims to emulate the success not only of the European cross country hosted at the same venue in 2003, but also reaffirm Scotland’s capabilities for hosting world class athletics in the approach to the Commonwealth Games in 2014.


UK Athletics Chief Executive Dave Moorcroft, who was part of the team that presented Tuesday’s bid welcomed the return of the classic race to these shores:


“Having staged the best ever World Indoor Championships in Birmingham and the best ever European Cross Country in Edinburgh in 2003 - according to the awarding bodies - the challenge is now set for Edinburgh to host the best ever World Cross Country 30 years after the event was last in Scotland.”


Geoff Wightman, Chief Executive of Scottish Athletics was equally buoyed by the opportunity – outlining how the Edinburgh event would seek to be a weekend full of endurance opportunities – including the resurrection of a great cross country tradition for the home countries:


“We are in the business of creating environments where our athletes and

coaches can flourish. A world championship on home soil is an opportunity to taste the big time and inspire the 2012 and 2014 generation.


“To make this a high impact weekend of athletics we plan youth and community races and also to reintroduce the Home Countries international for athletes who missed out on the GB team.


“There is lots to aim for over the next 16 months. We also know that we have world class officials and volunteers who will work together to deliver the event of a lifetime.”


Councillor Donald Anderson, Executive member for Sport Culture and Tourism said:


“Edinburgh is a world class city and has a reputation for delivering world class events. In the countdown to London 2012 and hopefully Glasgow 2014 we will stage races to remember.


“This will be a great opportunity for young Scots and Brits to put down a marker for future success. We also want to inspire a new generation of youngsters by twinning local primary schools with some of the visiting nations and create a sporting legacy from the biggest athletics event in the capital city since the 1986 Commonwealth Games.”


Patricia Ferguson, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport said: 


“Attracting the World Cross Country Championships to Edinburgh in 2008 is further proof that Scotland is one of the world’s leading events destinations.


“It will promote Scotland to an international television audience and show that we have the skills, the experience and the facilities, to host major events. 


“I am pleased that EventScotland, our major event agency, is a key funding partner.”


Paul Bush, Deputy Chief Executive, EventScotland said: 


"The news that the IAAF has awarded the 2008 World Cross Country Championships to Edinburgh demonstrates further Scotland's reputation as a premier events destination. 


"Since our inception in 2003 EventScotland has developed an exciting portfolio of sports events and athletics is a vital part of our work. We are pleased to have played an important role in the partnership with UK Athletics, Scottish Athletics and City of Edinburgh Council in bringing the Championships to Scotland for the first time in 30 years. 


"Edinburgh has a well deserved reputation for delivering highly successful athletics events including the Great Edinburgh Run and the Great Edinburgh International Cross Country and EventScotland is convinced that this expertise will ensure a successful World Cross Country in 2008."