Sebastian Coe praised the legacy of the 1992 Olympics and Paralympics as he completed a visit to Barcelona to inspect the Spanish city's bid to host the 2019 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships.
Coe, head of the IAAF Evaluation Commission that is visiting all three of the cities that are bidding for the Championships, noted how he ran one of his last major international races in Barcelona when he competed in the 800 metres at the 1989 World Cup in the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys.
"I did not get to compete in 1992 in Barcelona as I had retired," said the double Olympic 1500m champion.
"But one of my last races was in Barcelona at the World Cup here.
"Barcelona has first-class facilities.
"I attended the [Olympic] Games and this city and set the bar very high.
"The legacy can still be seen today."
Barcelona's Mayor Xavier Trias claimed that if Barcelona is chosen ahead of rivals Doha and Eugene to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships it could give the city another important boost.
"The celebration in Barcelona could leave an important legacy in our city," he said.
Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, formerly known as the Estadi Olímpic de Montjuïc when it hosted the 1992 Olympics and Paralympics, will again be the centrepiece for the Championships if Barcelona are successful.
The Stadium had also hosted the 2010 European Championships and 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships, events both widely praised.
During its two-day visit, the IAAF Evaluation Commission analysed Barcelona's capabilities in a number of areas, based on a study of its bidding documents.
Amongst the key areas they examined were vision and general concept, competition, accommodation, transportation, broadcasting, media operations, medical and anti-doping, security, sponsorship and legacy.
But Coe refused to give much away about Barcelona's chances of winning the bid when the IAAF ruling Council makes its decision on November 18.
"I'm not here to compare Barcelona to other cities," he said.
"We are here to see what each city can provide.
"We believe that each candidate will present the best you have and that you can not compare between cities.
"What I can say is that Barcelona has already proved it can organised world-class events."
Coe and his team, who also include Canada's Abigail Hoffman and Japan's Katsuyuki Tanaka, members of the IAAF Council, will next visit Eugene on October 26 and 27 before completing their inspections in Doha on October 30 and 31.
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