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LOC marks 100 days to Daegu World Championships
The city of Daegu was abuzz with excitement as the Local Organising Committee and the host city hosted a series of promotional events to mark 100 days to the IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011.
"With 100 days to go, we have entered the ‘final straight' of preparations for the IAAF World Championships, Daegu 2011," said IAAF President Lamine Diack in a televised speech on Thursday May 19, 2011.
The President continued, "And while we must never forget that this part of the race is always the most challenging, I am certain that with energy, hard work and dedication we will successfully reach the finish line together in a victory for Daegu, Korea, and the sport of athletics."
The eventful day of celebrations began with a downtown Marathon relay along one of the 15km loops of the Championships Marathon Course, by dignitaries and athletics legends.
This was followed by a flag-hoisting ceremony of the IAAF Flag and the 212 Member Federation flags. Ambassadors and representatives of the 212 foreign embassies in Korea were invited to raise the flags of their respective countries. The full day of promotional events concluded with an extravagant music concert by some of Korea's top singers and a spectacular fireworks display.
Dignitaries who attended the promotional events included Sun-Kyu Park, Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism; LOC Co-Presidents Bum-Il Kim and Hae-Nyoung Cho; and IAAF Council Members Helmut Digel and Jung-Ki Park.
Digel, who was the chairman of the Evaluation Commission when the city of Daegu was bidding to host the Championships, reminisced about the challenges that Daegu faced against the likes of Barcelona, Brisbane and Moscow.
"But Daegu had the passion and energy to win a famous victory, and since then, has shown that it will do everything necessary to organise the best ever edition of the IAAF World Championships," said Digel.
"I am certain that, with the full support of the IAAF, the organising team will cross the finish line as champions."
LOC Co-President Bum-Il Kim, who is also Mayor of Daegu Metropolitan City, summed up the festive mood in the host city and confidence of the LOC: "We will deliver our promise of hosting the best-ever World Championships in the history of the IAAF."