19 July 2016
Sergey Bubka, IAAF Senior Vice President and IOC Executive Board member, attended Bydgoszcz, Poland, to join the opening ceremony of the XVI IAAF World U20 Championships at the Zawisza Stadium.
Bubka greeted the participants and spectators of the event which features more than 1500 junior athletes from more than 160 National Federations and gave credit to the organizers of the event.
He said, ‘On behalf of global athletics family I send a message of appreciation and thanks to the city administration, Polish NF and event’s organizers. You are doing great job providing best conditions for the hundreds of athletes who are just about to start their pro careers. I have no doubt Bydgoszcz 2016 will be success and inspiration for the next generations of athletes’.
Bubka added, ‘Bydgoszcz has become the first city to host two IAAF Junior Championships. I have fantastic memories about Bydgoszcz 2008 where future stars like Christophe Lemaitre, Kirani James, Bohdan Bondarenko, Raphael Holzdeppe, David Storl, Mercy Cherono, Ivana Spanovic and many others made their first steps to glory.
I would also like to congratulate Team Poland who topped medal table at the 2016 European championships. The success of Amsterdam 2016 is influenced by the legacy of Bydgoszcz 2008 which inspired many Polish athletes and coaches to rise, as well as gave opportunity to improve athletics infrastructure in the city.
‘We witness so many sorrowful and tragic events around the world including terroristic attacks and war conflicts which bring disasters and mourning to people’s hearts. As a part of Olympic family I want to deliver Nelson Mandela’s message that sport has power to change the world for better. Sport brings peace, and every sport event including this fantastic championship and the upcoming Olympics is a model of the world where everybody lives in peace and harmony with his opponents. My appeal is to stop any violence ahead of the Games and join the thousand-years old tradition of Olympic truce’.
Bubka also said Polish junior team has huge ambitions for Bydgoszcz 2016 and wished the hosts to win more medals and promote the sport of athletics all over the country. He also wished every event’s participant to be inspired, to compete clean and follow fair play rules for the sake of the future of sport.
2016 IAAF U20 World Championships is hosted by Bydgoszcz between 19 and 24 of July.