The World Athletics’ governing body has decided to hand Tokyo the hosting duties of the 2025 World Athletics Championships.

Sebastian Coe, the president of the IAAF, announced the body’s decision a day before this year’s event begins in Eugene, Oregon a year later than planned due to COVID-19.

The 2025 World Athletics Championships will return the runners, jumpers, and throwers back to the home of last year’s Olympics, where they competed in front of mostly empty stands.

The World Athletics Council awarded the championships in a bidding contest with Tokyo beating out Nairobi, Kenya; Silesia, Poland, and Singapore for the 2025 World Athletics Championships while Budapest will host the 2023 version.

“Within an extremely strong field of candidates Tokyo offered a compelling bid,” World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said after the decision of WA’s ruling Council.

Coe also said it was a close vote, but “human resources” available in Tokyo, among other things, led to the event heading to Japan. He did not rule out the possibility of the track’s marquee event someday making it to Africa — a continent that has never held the event.

Japan reportedly spent more than $1.4 billion to build its stadium for the Olympics, which were postponed by one year because of the pandemic and then were held last summer under restrictions that prevented fans from attending.

Tokyo last held the event in 1991, highlighted by the incredible world-record-breaking long jump duel between gold medallist Mike Powell and Carl Lewis, while Japan held the event in 2007 with Osaka playing host.

The Council also confirmed that following next year’s World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia, the next two editions will be held in Medulin and Pula, Croatia (2024) and Tallahassee, Florida (2026).

Which athletes will be allowed to participate in the games remains to be seen with the World of Athletics under a microscope due to its policies regarding transgender people with Coe being one of the biggest critics of transgender people in sports.

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