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BERLIN TO HOST 2009 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

The city had lost bids to host the 1991 and 2005 World championships but won emphatically, with an absolute majority in the first round of voting.

Its delegation played on the strength of its recently reconstructed Olympic Stadium as well as on the strong support of the German authorities and the business community.

The bid delegation included the German Minister of the Interior Otto Schilly and well as the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit.

Refurbished at a cost of more than 240million euros, the new Berlin Olympic Stadium has a distinctive blue track and, once the venue of the 1936 Olympic Games, is now a state-of-the-art facility.

With a budget of 49.8million euros, the Berlin organising committee will also pay full travel and accommodation for all athletes participating in the championships.

The most recent edition, held last year in Paris, saw 198 of the IAAF’s 211 Member Federations taking part.

Africa’s greatest-ever sprinter Frankie Fredericks, flew into Helsinki from Namibia to lend positive support for the Berlin bid.

Fredericks, who retired from competition in 2004, said: “I’m convinced Berlin will host an outstanding Championships because they are determined to put the athletes first, and making them the stars of the show.

“The fact that all the athletes can be accommodated in a single hotel is fantastic because it will be a real Athletes’ Village.”