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Wonderful Daegu!

Posted February. 24, 2007 07:15,   


“We are ready. Welcome to Daegu.”

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) started the process of deciding the site of the 2011 World Championships in Athletics on February 23 in Daegu, which was filled with a festival atmosphere.

The eight-member inspection team, with IAAF vice-president Helmut Diegel as its head, examined Daegu World Cup Stadium, the athletes’ village in Yulha-dong, Dong-gu, and a proposed media village site for an hour and 40 minutes starting at 10:10 a.m.

Before that, as the inspection team departed the Hotel Interburgo and moved toward the inspection sites, 10,000 citizens who were lined up along a road enthusiastically cheered, waving flags that said ‘Welcome to DAEGU.”

As the inspection team arrived at World Cup Stadium and moved to a briefing room, 10,000 citizens who were waiting at the entrance of the stadium, chanted “OK DAEGU” and the names of the inspection team members.

Lim Ho-jin (33) who visited the stadium with his family said, “I waved the flag, clapping hands with my children. I really hope that we can host the championships.”

On that day, the inspection team looked around Daegu’s facilities and listened to the explanations of Bae Yeong-cheol, head of the international trade team of Daegu city.

With so many citizens filling the stadium and its seats, vehemently welcoming them and waving signs, the faces of the inspection team members broke into smiles, and they repeated “wonderful” to each other and looked deeply touched.

Cesar Moreno Bravo (Mexico), IAAF Council Member, said Daegu Stadium is functionally excellent as well as beautiful in aesthetic terms.

While the inspection was going on, a track and field meet for youth where 5,000 children were participating in was held in the stadium, and a folk music show, a traditional kite flying show, and a paragliding show were performed in a nearby plaza.

IAAF secretary general Pierre Weiss flew a kite in person and said, “Citizens are very enthusiastic and a committee for attracting the championships is well-prepared. I’ve never seen such a fantastic performance in previous inspections.”

Mr. Digel said, “I got touched by the excellent stadium and citizens’ enthusiasm. It was impressive to see citizens actively participate in a bid to host an athletic event.”

He added, “Korea, which contributed to world sports by holding the FIFA World Cup Games, the 1988 Olympics, and the 2003 Winter Universiad, has displayed an interest in track and field. So, I expected that Daegu city would make perfect preparations when it submitted a bid application. My expectations came true.”