IAAF reassigns Race Walking Team Championships from Russia to China

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has announced that Taicang in China will stage its 2018 World Race Walking Team Championships after the Russian city of Cheboksary had its hosting rights withdrawn.

Cheboksary was awarded the event in November 2013 but the IAAF opted to relocate the championships as the All Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) is currently suspended from IAAF membership due to the wide-ranging, state-sponsored doping programme that was uncovered in the country.

The IAAF reopened the biding process for the event on September 2 and received expressions of interest from Taicang, Guyaquil (Ecuador), Hammamet (Tunisia), Kiev (Ukraine), Monterrey (Mexico) and Tokyo (Japan).

Only Taicang submitted a formal bid by the deadline of November 15 and the city has now been confirmed as host.

Taicang staged the 2014 World Race Walking Team Championships, back when it was called the World Race Walking Cup. The city also serves as the Chinese leg on the annual World Race Walking Challenge.

“The Chinese Athletics Federation are extremely experienced organisers of IAAF World Athletics Series events, most recently delivering the stunning 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing,” IAAF president Sebastian Coe said. “Taicang’s bid and today’s presentation was of the highest technical level. China is one of the most successful race walking nations and we can expect large crowds of spectators in 2018, just as there were in 2014.”

The World Race Walking Team Championships take place every two years. The Italian capital of Rome staged the 2016 edition back in May, with that event having also been initially scheduled for Cheboksary before being reassigned by the IAAF in January.