44th BMW BERLIN-MARATHON on 24 September 2017

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Why London triumphed against Paris

Lord Sebastian Coe has always kept his connection to athletics


Beating Sebastian Coe has always been an extremely difficult task. There was hardly any chance beating the English middle distance runner in is best years in the 80ies. Having run a series of world records Sebastian Coe was a superstar of international athletics, who has helped developing the sport of running enormously. His 800 m world record was unbeaten for 16 years.

Commentator of athletics for the BBC

Lord Sebastian Coe has always kept his connection to athletics. For years he has been a commentator of athletics for the BBC. Additionally he is a member of the IAAF council. But his greatest triumph as an official came on Wednesday in Singapore. Britain could not have made a better choice when appointing the director of the Olympic bid. Smart, convincing and hard working – Sebastian Coe is a winner.

And London’s win was well deserved on Wednesday, when the IOC elected the capital to host the Olympic Games in 2012. Favourite Paris was beaten. But it was of course not Seb Coe alone who brought success. The French thought they had already won while the British fought until the very last minute and showed a convincing presentation. The advertising film for London 2012 for example had charm and British humour.

London has a lot to offer

Being quite sure that they would win – some might say being arrogant – the French have probably underestimated the strength of Britain’s bid. And London has a lot to offer: A new Olympic Stadium in London’s east end, where a whole district will be redeveloped for the sport. Football will take place in Wembley Stadium – the home of football. Triathlon will be in Hyde Park, rowing events might well take place on the river Thames and beach volleyball will be played near to Buckingham Palace. But there was more the English offered: Fair play is a major issue and the British are generally helpful towards foreigners. In these aspects Britain beats France.

The British bid was stronger than many had thought

While the World Championships in Athletics in Paris in 2003 were partially chaotic concerning organisation Manchester had caught headlines a year earlier for organising superb Commonwealth Games. The British bid was stronger than many had thought. That is why London’s win with the help of Seb Coe is well deserved.

Organisers of the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON, who cooperate with colleagues at the Flora London Marathon, congratulate the British capital on this triumph.  

Jörg Wenig


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