Ipswich backs world title bid

REGIONAL athletics clubs are crossing their fingers that Brisbane’s bid to host the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships is successful.

The state capital is among five cities bidding for either or both the 2011 and 2013 world athletics championships.

The IAAF this week said Barcelona, Brisbane, Taegu, Gothenburg and Moscow had confirmed they were candidates.

Brisbane, Gothenburg and Moscow are contenders for both championships.

Barcelona has applied for the 2013 edition while the South Korean city of Taegu is a candidate for only the 2011 championships.

The hosts for both championships will be announced on March 27.

Ipswich and District Athletics Club president Vic Pascoe said a successful bid for Brisbane would boost the participation rate for youth athletics in Ipswich.

“I’m sure plenty of (young athletes) would be motivated by it,” Pascoe said.

“The junior ranks now, by that time will be young seniors.

“Knowing the worlds were being held right on their doorstep would give them the extra drive.”

Pascoe singled out discus thrower Andrew Welch, 17, and multi discipline athlete Lincoln Cory, 15, as potential competitors in 2011 and 2013.

Welch is currently ranked 11th in the world in under 18 discus, while Cory’s performances in a range of sports, including shot put and long jump, have him marked as a future world level decathlete.

Brisbane’s bid for the world titles follows last week’s announcement Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre (formerly QEII) would host the next three Australian championships, including the selection trials for the 2007 Osaka world titles and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Pascoe said the hosting of the nationals in Brisbane would have immediate financial and performance benefits for Ipswich district athletes.

“I know of athletes who have qualified for national titles (held interstate) who have missed out going because of the cost of travel,” he said.

“Having the nationals just up the road would also make it easier for coaches to accompany their proteges to the events, while athletes could focus less on finding sponsorship and more on their training.”