We have now returned to Europe after the successful hosting of the 2001 IAAF World Championships in Edmonton, Canada. The focus is now on the 9th Host City of Paris, France! The event was held in Saint-Dennis, a northern suburb of Paris.
The city’s name has very interesting origins as it was named after the first Bishop of Paris who was martyred in 250 A.D. According to local legend the decapitated Bishop walked 10km with his head in his hand preaching the sermon until he finally fell. The Bishop’s grave and the Abbey of Saint-Denis are very popular tourist attractions.
The host venue for this event was the beautiful Stade de France, which was built to host the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The stadium’s construction began in 1995 and only took 30 months to be completed. Unlike many of the other stadium’s, this venue has only had one name change, during the initial construction period it was named ‘Grand Stade’ but this was changed after a recommendation from French football legend Michel Platini who suggested ‘Stade de France.’
The results from the Paris Championships were both shocking and exciting. The Men’s 100m was one of the largest upsets in IAAF World Championships history as 100m Champion Maurice Greene was thought to easily take his 4th Gold in the Men’s 100m in the IAAF World Championships until an unexpected injury in the semi-finals. Kim Collins from St. Kitts and Nevis, a small federation in the Carribean, took the gold in 10.07s.
Due to doping charges the 100m Queen Marion Jones was absent from the 2010 World Championships and was replaced by Torri Edwards (USA) in the event where she took the Gold the Women’s 100m and Silver in the 200m.
In the Women’s Pole Vault, rising start Svetlana Feofanova (RUS) out did USA’s Stacy Dragila taking the gold in the event. This event also marked the beginning of Elena Ishinbayeva’s illustrious career with her taking the Bronze in the event; her first ever IAAF World Championships Medal.
Great Britain’s legendary Triple Jumper, Jonathan Edwards, also competed in his final event this year with a 16.31m jump in his final competition.
This year Korean National Marathoner Bong-Jun LEE finally competed in the IAAF World Championships after opting out in 2001. The hopeful maintained the lead in his group until the middle of the race but was not able to push through in the final length resulting in a still respectable 11th place.
The 9th IAAF World Championships in Athletics was overall a great success with many twists and surprises in the athletes’ performances. Next time I will see you in Helsinki, Finland for the next edition of the IAAF World Championships in Athletics.