LONDON, April 2 - The northern Greek city of Thessaloniki was awarded the 2009 World Athletics Final today, and Birmingham, England will host next year’s world half marathon championships.
The International Association of Athletics Federations announced the host cities at their council meeting.
Thessaloniki, the second-biggest city in Greece, beat Bydgoszcz, Poland, to host the World Athletics Final, on a date to be decided.
The stadium, which holds 28,000 people, was upgraded for the 2004 Olympics.
``We need to attract young people to our sport, and we are happy to see how Thessaloniki plans to make every effort to attract young people to the stadium,’’ IAAF president Lamine Diack said.
Birmingham’s event will be held on October 11, with its successful staging of the world indoor championships in 2003 helping its outdoor bid.
``The world half marathon championships is the only IAAF world championships specifically for road runners, and we are very keen to reach out to this thriving community of our sport,’’ Diack said.
A number of tracks around that area :o
The upper left one is only 320m. Mostly throwers practice there, and PE students.
More than half of Thessaloniki’s trackies and other sports train in the middle one, which has nice soft tartan. Very crowded every evening… Grass running is allowed, only if the janitor knows you. (When I first got here this past summer and people hardly knew me, I had a VERY hard time, like John mentioned).
The main track is used for soccer practices, and you can be shot if you are found running on the infield. Some “selected” track sessions take place there though.
I mostly train on a totally different one (more private), in the east side of the city, where there’s less drama and gossip circulating inside the track and field air :rolleyes: