Countdown Clock Switched on Outside Bird’s Nest to Mark ‘One Year to Go’ Before IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015

Next year, Usain Bolt, David Rudisha, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Kirani James, Sally Pearson, Mo Farah, to name a few, will compete again in Beijing

The first major milestone in the promotion campaign for the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 took place today in the shadow of the Bird’s Nest with a dramatic ‘one year to go’ ceremony, attended by the mayor of Beijing Wang Anshun, China’s minister of sport administration bureau Liu Peng, IAAF President Lamine Diack and three of China’s top athletes Liu Xiang, Zhang Peimeng and Wang Yu.

Leading members of the Chinese Athletics Association and Beijing’s Sport Bureau joined representatives of the official IAAF partners and media to welcome the return of major championship athletics to the iconic National Stadium.

“We are ready and able to welcome the world of athletics again to Beijing,” said the mayor. “We are excited not only about the barrier-breaking performances we can expect but about creating a new respect and affection for athletics among the people of China.”

Dramatic performances from modern and classic Chinese dancers bookmarked a packed programme which saw the launch of the official mascot and official poster, the unveiling of the official website and the unveiling and switching on of a specially designed countdown clock.

The clock, although based on a traditional Chinese stone sun dial, reflects the dynamism and modernity of athletics, and includes many design elements symbolising aspects of the sport.

President Diack welcomed the decision of the Chinese authorities to build on the legacy of the 2008 Games and ensure that the best athletes in the world would once again get the chance to shine at an event that will be broadcast to billions of TV viewers all over the world.

“Next year, Usain Bolt, along with other super stars of athletics such as David Rudisha, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Kirani James, Sally Pearson, Renaud Lavillenie, Valerie Adams, Mo Farah, to name but a few, will compete again in Beijing,” said President Diack.

“The Chinese capital will witness great sport entertainment as the Bird’s Nest again embraces the Olympics’ number one sport.”

“I have no doubt that Chinese athletics, like Usain Bolt in 2008, will come of age in 2015.”

As well as the ceremony itself, residents of Beijing will be able to contribute to the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 countdown through a weekend of activities throughout the city, sponsored and organised by the Beijing City Cultural Bureau to encourage sport and a healthy lifestyle.

IAAF launches Chinese edition of SPIKES and social media

SPIKES has been part of the IAAF website since February this year and with one year to go until the World Championships in Beijing, it marks the perfect moment for SPIKES to embrace the passion China has for our sport.

SPIKES China will help build excitement leading into the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang, China next March and then on to Beijing and beyond.

SPIKES China will also make its mark on popular Chinese social networks such as Instagram, Sina Weibo, a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook, and Tencent Weibo.

In addition, SPIKES China will be active on WeChat (ID: SpikesChina), a popular app available for all smartphones that allows activities such as text, voice and broadcast messaging as well as the sharing of photographs and videos. WeChat has 300 million users, with 70 million outside of China.

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