The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) is in the process of finalising its bid for hosting the prestigious World Athletics Championships in 2027. The event, which is held every two years, showcases the best of track and field athletes from around the world.
AFI president confident of India’s capabilities
AFI president Adille Sumariwalla said that India has not made a formal bid yet, but is discussing it internally and will take a decision in the next couple of days. He expressed confidence that India has the ability, the economics, the political will and the sporting passion to stage such a mega event.
“We have hosted many international events in the past, including the Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games and the World Junior Athletics Championships. We have the infrastructure, the experience and the enthusiasm to host the World Athletics Championships,” he said.
World Athletics chief backs India’s bid
World Athletics (WA) president and International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Sebastian Coe, who was present at an event organised by AFI and WA in Kurinjipadi, Tamil Nadu, said he would love to see India host the World Athletics Championships. He said India is crucial for the development of athletics and wants the country to host more global events.
“It is very important that the countries that have the ability, the economics, the political will and the sporting passion to stage events. You would be surprised, as the president of World Athletics, if I did not want to stage one of our events,” he said.
“I am not here to sell other sports, I am here to promote athletics and I also want to see India stage as many of our events as possible. This is important for us. You have one of the largest populations in the world and you have a very strong economy,” he added.
India eyes 2036 Olympics as well
Apart from bidding for the 2027 World Athletics Championships, India is also preparing to make a formal bid for hosting the 2036 Olympics. Coe said he would support India’s Olympic aspirations and said it would be fantastic for the country and the games.
“I would love to see the Olympic Games coming to India. For very obvious reasons, partly personal and partly familiar reasons but India is an amazing country and I think the development of the games would be fantastic. I think everybody recognises that. But that is for the International Olympic Committee to decide,” he said.
Previous and upcoming editions of World Athletics Championships
The previous edition of the World Athletics Championships was held in Budapest, Hungary in 2023, where Kenya topped the medal table with 12 golds, followed by USA with 10 and Jamaica with 9. The next edition will be held in Japan in 2025, where India hopes to improve its performance after winning only one bronze medal in Budapest.
The bidding process for the 2027 edition is expected to start soon, with several countries expressing their interest. Apart from India, China, Australia, Germany and Spain are among the potential contenders. The host city will be announced by WA in 2024.