MOSCOW TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIP TO HOST ATHLETES FROM 150 COUNTRIES

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MOSCOW, March 11 2004. (RIA Novosti) - According to estimates of the IAAF experts, a track and field championship scheduled for 2006 in Moscow will host athletes from 150 countries, Yuri Nagornykh, Deputy Head of the Russian State Sports Committee said at a Thursday press conference.

Just to compare: the Budapest-2004 championship hosted athletes from 145 countries.

The capital of Russia got a banner of the competitions at the Budapest-2004 world championship. Moscow was chosen to be the city of the next championship though it had a strong rival - Madrid but the latter received only 7 votes against Moscow's 19.

The Moscow championship will take place in March in the Olimpiysky sporting center, which has never before witnessed such major track and field event. However, the organizing committee of the championship is sure the center will make it possible to conduct the championship on a very high level.

"The championship will differ from everything we have seen in the world till now," Mr Naogornykh said.

He also said that Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov is the head of the organizing committee.

Mr Balakhnichev, president of the All-Russian Track and Field Federation pointed out that IAAF representatives could make sure at the World Championship in Budapest that they were passing the banner to the safe hands.

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