Ukraine’s Vice-Prime Minister Leads Celebration As Donetsk Is Awarded 2013 World Youth Championships

MONTE CARLO, Monaco -- At the end of the second day of the IAAF Council’s two-day autumnal session in Monaco, the Ukrainian city of Donetsk was this afternoon awarded the 2013 IAAF World Youth Championships.

Donetsk to host 2013 IAAF World Youth Championships. Centre: Lamine Diack shakes hands with Borys Kolesnikov, that are flanked Sergey Bubka (L) and Ravil Safiullin (R).

Leading Donetsk’s celebrations were Borys Kolesnikov, the Vice-President of Ukraine who flew into Monaco today to present to the IAAF Council the city’s bid to host the championships.

Kolesnikov, who is the President of the Bidding and Local Organising Committee, was accompanied to Monaco by Ravil Safiullin, Minister of Family, Youth and Sports of Ukraine, and a Ukrainian press core of 15 journalists including three TV crews.

Home to the annual ‘Pole Vault Stars’ indoor meeting, Donetsk has witnessed many World indoor records including three by 1988 Olympic Pole Vault champion and nowadays IAAF Senior Vice-President Sergey Bubka, whose club organises the meeting, and so the city is already a well-established venue for the athletics’ elite.

As far back as 1977 the city staged the European Junior Championships, though visitors arriving in 2013 will find a fast changing Donetsk as the UEFA Euro 2012 football tournament has brought about a transformation in its transportation, public and sports infrastructure, with plenty of new hotels and a new airport being built.

The athletics credentials of the bid’s backers could not have been stronger as Valeriy Borzov, the President of the IAAF Member Federation for Ukraine, like Bubka is also an Olympic champion, the winner of the 100m and 200m titles in 1972.

“I thank the IAAF Council for such a swift and emphatic acceptance of Donetsk as host of the 2013 IAAF World Youth Championships,” said Kolesnikov after the official signing ceremony and handshake had taken place with IAAF President Lamine Diack. “I can assure you that the holding of this event has the full personal support of the President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovych and the Government of our country.”

“During my term as head of the Donetsk Regional Parliament I got this idea of holding the World Championships…the realisation of this dream took a few years for us (to achieve)…. Our team will manage this task with honour… Ukraine is ready to host the competitions of the World Youth Championships at the highest level.”

President Diack “thanked the Vice-Prime Minister and the bidding committee for their exceptional bid,” and explained that “Ukraine first proposed to bid for the 2014 World Junior Championships and we were delighted with their intention but realised we needed a candidate for the 2013 World Youths and when we asked their interest received an immediate ‘yes’ to the idea.”

“What impresses me most is their enthusiasm especially that their Vice-Prime Minister has flown to Monaco for this presentation, and their bid is backed by such Olympic stars as our great friends Sergey Bubka and Valeriy Borzov,” confirmed President Diack.

“For the last 3 to 4 years we have discussed the possibility of making a bid for a World Championships and the Vice-Prime Minister has always been very enthusiastic about this project,” confirmed Sergey Bubka, the six-time World outdoor champion.

“The senior World Championships were the original goal and the staging of the World Youth Championships is the first step to that higher level and will be important to the general development of athletics in Ukraine. What especially encouraged us about holding this youth competition were the very good results that Ukraine experienced at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.”

The city of Donetsk has a statue in the honour of Bubka’s pole vaulting achievements, and as Valeriy Borzov commented in his message to Council, “for these young athletes it will be interesting to see and to know the city in which the legendary Sergey Bubka began his ascent.”

Donetsk is the current home and training venue to many of the best athletes of Ukraine including Olga Saladukha, Denys Yurchenko, Maksym Mazuryk, Iryna Lischynska, Natalia Tobias and Yulya Krevsun.

Source: IAAF