IAAF chief Diack awarded Beijing honorary citizen

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The IAAF president Lamine Diack was awarded an honorary citizen of Beijing on Thursday.

Wang Anshun, Mayor of Beijing, the capital city of China, presented a certificate, a badge and a key to the outgoing chief of the world athletics before a dinner party held by the Beijing organizers of the upcoming IAAF World Championships.

"What is happening these days in Beijing, the meeting of the Council of the IAAF, the 50th Congress of IAAF, and the world championships, indicate that I was right 40 years ago to tell my predecessor Primo Nebiolo that China must be back to athletics," said Diack, wearing the badge.

The 82-year-old Senegalese, once a long jumper, was elected to the IAAF Council at the 30th IAAF Congress in Montreal, 1976, and became senior vice-president of the organization in 1991. Upon the death of the fourth IAAF president Primo Nebiolo on November 7, 1999, he immediately took over as acting president and had subsequently been re-elected in 2001, 2003, 2007 and 2011.

Britain's Sebastian Coe, the chief organizer of the 2012 London Olympics, beat Ukrainian pole vault great Sergei Bubka to be elected as new IAAF president at the 50th IAAF Congress on Wednesday.

The two-time Olympic 1,500-meter champion will formally take over the position on August 31, right after the Beijing World Championships.

The Beijing worlds, featuring over 1900 athletes from 207 countries and regions, will take place in the National Stadium from August 22nd to 30th. It will be the first time for the biyearly tournament to come to China.

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