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London chosen to host 2017 world athletics championships following head-to-head battle with Doha

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London was chosen to host the 2017 world athletics championships by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Friday.

The capital city beat Doha in a head-to-head battle for the right to stage the global track and field showpiece for the first time.

London’s bid team, which included 2012 Olympics chief Sebastian Coe, Sports Minister Hugh Robertson, London Mayor Boris Johnson and former Olympic champion Denise Lewis, hugged each other after the decision was announced by IAAF president Lamine Diack, Reuters reported.

London and Doha were the only candidates. The 2013 championships will be staged in Moscow with Beijing hosting the showpiece event two years later.

Diack said London won by a vote of 16-10.

“This is good,” Diack told The Associated Press. “I never had any stress about this. I said whoever wins deserves it.”

Instead of seeking out a new challenge in the Arab world with an air-conditioned stadium to contain the desert heat, the IAAF rewarded tradition in the sport's European heartland rather than the deep pockets of a gas-rich nation.

Sebastian Coe, an IAAF vice president who heads the organizing committee for the 2012 London Olympics, said the vote rewarded the city's “global reach” and Britain’s long history in the sport.

“The stadium will be stuffed to the gills with people who want to be there,” Coe said. “We’ve got the games in 2012, the world athletics championships in 2017 and world championships in virtually all other sports. It's an extraordinary clean sweep for British sport.”