By Duncan Mackay in Monte Carlo

Sebastian Coe_Monte_Carlo_November_11_2011November 11 - London were awarded the 2017 World Championships by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) here today in what was another brilliant triumph for Sebastian Coe.

They were chosen ahead of Doha by the IAAF's ruling Council, polling 16 votes to their rivals 10, a bigger margin than most experts had predicted.

The decision wrote yet another remarkable chapter into the lifestory of Coe, who had led the bid, coming six years after he had been the inspiration behind London's campaign to host the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

It was his determination to keep the running track at the Olympic Stadium in the face of severe opposition that allowed Britian to bid for the Championships.

Coe had made the pledge when London were awarded the Olympics and Paralympics by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at its Session in Singapore in 2005 that the stadium would retain the track.

But it was only after the IAAF President Lamine Diack publicly threw his support behind the campaign that Coe was able to keep that promise. 

Coe, the vice-president of the IAAF, had also been backed by Britain's Sport and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson, who was part of London's presentation team at the Fairmont Hotel here, along with London Mayor Boris Johnson.

London 2017_delegation_present_bid_Monte_Carlo_November_11_2011
It will be the first time Britain has ever hosted the Championships, the third largest international sporting event in terms of prestige after the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup.

London was awarded the 2005 World Championships but was forced to pull out after then Prime Minister Tony Blair broke a promise to build a new stadium at Picketts Lock.

The choice of London also turned back the recent trend of awarding major events to new and emerging markets, including FIFA controversially giving the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

But the IAAF turned their back on a massive financial offer from Doha, who were prepared to invest $236.2 million (£147.7 million) in the Championships, including $80 million (£50 million) to stage them and the offer of a sponsorship and television package worth $29 million (£18 million).

London did not have the financial muscle to compete against that but did counter by making the late offer of underwriting the cost of the $7.2 million (£4.5 million) prize money to be awarded at the Championships.

"It was very important that we did not get spooked on the issue of inducement," said Coe.

"The most important thing for people to understand was that there was no plan-B - you have that stadium stuffed to the gunwales with people that look like they want to be there and know why they are there.

"That is the most important message to get across."

The bedrock of London's success was the support it received from Europe, who have ten representatives on the Council.

They were keen for the event to return to Western Europe following the success of the 2009 Championships in Berlin, where Usain Bolt broke the world records for the 100 and 200 metres.

If Doha had been chosen it would have meant that the Championships would not have been held in the heartlands of the sport for at least ten years with 2011 having been held in Daegu in South Korea and 2013 due for Moscow and 2015 for Beijing.

Ed Warner, the chairman of UK Athletics, denied that the offer to underwrite the cost of the prize money was a reactionary move to the fact Doha had already announced its plan.

"People tell me always keep a late reveal," he said.

"It was always baked into our plan.

"The press had asked me for a reaction when Doha guaranteed the prize money and we said it was very clear, straightforward and above board because we knew we planned to do the same.

"It was a very important part of the process for us."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
November 2011: London match Doha prize fund for 2017 World Athletics Championships
November 2011: Doha offer $236.2 million package to host 2017 World Championships
November 2011: Mike Rowbottom - Closing stages of 2017 World Championships bids finely balanced
November 2011: Exclusive - Doha has technology on its side, claims 2017 bid leader
November 2011: Olympic Stadium will be even better by 2017 Coe claims