By Duncan Mackay

IAFF_logoSeptember 2 - London and Doha will go head-to-head to host the 2017 World Athletics Championships after Barcelona withdrew its bid.

Barcelona, the host city of the 1992 Olympics and Paralympics, widely considered one of the most successful in history, had been nominated as Spain's candidate less than two weeks ago but have now decided not to proceed with its bid. 

It meant that when the deadline set by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for bids was reached at midnight on August 31 only Doha and London had submitted applications.

It is understood that Real Federación Española de Atletismo (RFEA), athletics' governing body in Spain, dropped their bid because of lack of financial guarantees from the Government and the city.

The IAAF is due to officially confirm that Doha and London are the only bidders next Monday (September 5), a day after the end of the current World Championships in Daegu. 

Barcelona had applied to host the 2013 World Championships but were beaten by Moscow.

The move will boost London's chances as it will mean that the European vote will not be split.

It reinfoces London's position as the favourites to host the event for the first time but they still need to secure the future of the Olympic Stadium first.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) awarded the Stadium to West Ham United after London 2012, who have maintained to retain the running track.

But Premier League Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient have been granted a judicial review over the decision.

It is scheduled to be heard in the High Court in London on October 18, only three weeks before the IAAF ruling Council are due to meet in Monte Carlo on November 11 to choose the host city.

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