KVAL: Eugene: 'This community understands track and field'

The 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships at Hayward Field. (Photo by Phil Johnson)

EUGENE, Ore. – Barcelona. Doha. Eugene.

In the elite world of track and field, it appears the Spanish and Qatari cities are Track Town USA’s competition for the 2019 IAAF World Track and Field Championships.

Eugene has the pedigree: in addition to this year’s IAAF youth world championships, Eugene has hosted the 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic trials.

America’s Olympic hopefuls return to historic Hayward Field in 2016 to compete.

The World Championships are essentially Olympic caliber competition in non-Olympic years. The event has never taken place on U.S. soil before.

“We are delighted that Eugene has thrown its hat in the ring for this,” said Sebastian Coe, vice president of the IAAF. “This is a community that understands track and field. A large part of your history is the history of our sport internationally.”

Travel and tourism officials think the time is right.

“I’m very confident that Eugene is ready for an event like this,” said Kari Westlund with Travel Lane County. “We have everything in place, we’re passionate, we’re in the middle of a building boom – everything is aligned for this to be the right time.”

The IAAF site council spent the weekend visiting key locations in Eugene and meeting with committees to determine whether or not the city has the financial resources, volunteer power and the spirit for the elite global event.

The council will meet on November 18 in Monaco to present the official 2019 selection.

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