By Mike Rowbottom in Gothenburg

1995 IAAF World Championships in GothenburgFebruary 28 - Gothenburg, which is hosting the European Athletics Indoor Championships for the third time this weekend, will seek to bid for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Outdoor Championships in 2021, the year in which the city marks its 400th anniversary.

Speaking on the eve of competition, which takes place from tomorrow until Sunday (March 3), in the vast Scandinavian complex in the city centre, Camilla Nyman, chief executive of Göteborg and Co, confirmed that there were plans to seek the return of an event which the city held with great success 18 years ago.

"Since 1995 we have hosted large events in athletics, and we want to do more in the future," she said.

"In 2021 Gothenburg celebrates its 400th anniversary and of course the jewel in the crown that year would be to host a big international athletics event.

"Time will tell, but the goal is definitely once again to be host of an international athletics event.

"With sustainability as our guiding star we are about to see a fantastic competition.

"After these Championships are over I am sure we will be able to say that Gothenburg is once again a city where magical moments are created now and in the future."

Christian Milz, European Athletics' director general, added: "These European Indoor Championships are very special - they are the most important athletics competition since the very successful Olympics in London and they have a very innovative concept of being all under one roof.

"There is a clear vision for this event which recognises the possibilities for hosting a future world championships."

Moscow will host this year's World Championships and Beijing the next in 2015, while the 2017 version is bound for the London 2012 Olympic Stadium in Stratford.

noureddinemorceli1550algNoureddine Morceli of Algeria wins the 1,500 metres title at the 1995 IAAF World Championships in Gothenburg

Milz described the 2013 European Indoors as incorporating "a new concept".

"The 2013 organisers have staged the men's and women's shot put where the public will be able to see them very close," he said.

"This is the first time spectators will be able to get as close as this to the athletes during a championships."

He added: "There will be 578 athletes taking part, from 47 of the 50 members within our federation.

"Every leader of this year's lists will be here for the men, and all but two of the women.

"There will be a total of 26 gold medals being competed for.

"In terms of television, the Championships are set to receive more than 250 hours of coverage within Europe, and last but not least we will be live streaming the action on our website."

Gothenburg's third hosting of the European Indoor Championships will help European Athletics to take a "step forward", said the organisation's President, Hansjörg Wirz.

"These Championships will help us to take another step forward in terms of integrating our sport into society," he added.

"Our competition programmes have developed to the point where we can give to all athletes at all different performance levels a step forward to the top, starting from the junior and under-23 competitions.

"There is not much more to do here.

"But the other part is integrating our sport into society, and using our values.

"We need to show how athletics can be used for health.

"This must be part of our movement.

"And our sport cannot survive if we do not get the kind of support we have had here in Gothenburg in terms of facilities.

"We need stadiums.

"Football is not our friend in this regard.

"Football wants to have its own stadiums, but we cannot have our competitions in stand-alone stadiums."

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