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Barcelona to host spectacular IAAF celebrations

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MONACO, November 20- The focus of the Athletics’ world shifts to Barcelona, Spain, with the Catalan capital preparing for one of the greatest ever celebrations in the sport’s history.

The annual World Athletics Gala, usually hosted in Monaco, has exceptionally moved to Barcelona, and will serve as the climax of a packed programme of activities to mark the IAAF Centenary.

Over 120 star athletes, whose careers reflect many of the outstanding moments in our sport’s history, are travelling to Barcelona.

Among them are champions from the London Olympic Games of 1948 and 2012 including Kenya’s men 800m record holder, David Rudisha who has been nominated for the Male Athlete of the Year as well as many other legends of the sport.

Joining the athletes will be more than 600 members of the World Athletics Family, and other International Sports’ Federations and the International Olympic Committee.

On Thursday and Friday, an IAAF Council meeting chaired by IAAF President Lamine Diack takes place.

During its discussions the venues of the 2015 IAAF World Cross Country Championships and 2015 IAAF World Youth Championships will be decided.

Council will also receive progress reports from the three 2013 IAAF World Athletics Series events including the IAAF World Championships in Moscow.

On Thursday evening, in the Palacio de Albéniz a dinner given by the City of Barcelona will be hosted by Barcelona Mayor Xavier Trias.

While on Friday following an IAAF Press Conference to mark the end of the Council meeting, a Welcome Banquet will be held in the evening in the historical Drassanes Museum.

On the morning of Saturday, an IAAF / Nestlé Kids’ Athletics exhibition event takes place at the Arc de Triomf, in the centre of the city, with the eight teams of 10 to 11 year-old kids being led by athletics legends like Fermin Cacho, Pauline Davis-Thompson, Meseret Defar, Frank Fredericks, Maurice Greene, Yelena Isinbayeva, Paula Radcliffe and Irena Szewinska.

Then, on Saturday afternoon, the 2012 Athletes of the Year Award Ceremony takes place at the Hotel Pullman Skipper.

Following the Award Ceremony a VIP visit has been organised to the IAAF Centenary Historic Exhibition which is housed at the Museu Olímpic i de l’Esport Joan Antoni Samaranch, next to the Olympic stadium on the hill of Montjuïc which overlooks the city centre.

Then in the evening the celebrations come to a spectacular close with the IAAF Centenary Gala Show in the MNAC Museum which is also located on Montjuïc, where the first 24 Members will be welcomed as the new IAAF Hall of Fame is officially inaugurated.

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