Oregon trying to lure 2019 track and field’s worlds to US for first time

LONDON — Eugene is bidding to bring track and field’s world championships to the United States for the first time.

The IAAF said Tuesday the Oregon city is one of three candidates in contention for the 2019 championships, along with Doha, Qatar, and Barcelona, Spain.

The contenders were announced at the International Association of Athletics Federations council meeting in Dakar, Senegal.

The host city will be selected at the next IAAF council meeting in Monaco in November. In the meantime, the bid cities must present detailed bid files and consult with an IAAF evaluation panel.

The worlds were first staged in 1983 in Helsinki, Finland. The 2015 championships will be held in Beijing and the 2017 worlds in London.

It’s the second straight bid from Doha, which lost out to London in 2011 for the 2017 hosting rights.

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Barcelona, which hosted the 1992 Olympics, had submitted a bid for the 2017 worlds but withdrew due to lack of government support.

Eugene is due to host this year’s IAAF world junior championships. Another Oregon city, Portland, is set to host the 2016 IAAF world indoor championships.

Even though the U.S. is the most successful country in the history of the world outdoors, the championships have yet to be held in the country, mainly due to the lack of a suitable stadium.

Eugene is the home of Hayward Field, which has hosted the NCAA outdoor championships 11 times and has regularly staged the U.S. Olympic Trials. The facility underwent $8 million in renovations in 2008 but would presumably need to be expanded for the worlds.