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Germany

Berlin Hosts 2009 Athletics Championships

Beating out challenges from the cities of Split and Valencia, the German capital won its bid to host the 2009 World Championships in Athletics. The third time was a charm for Berlin, since it had failed in its attempts to host the track-and-field games in 1991 and 2005. This time Berlin was a favorite, largely due to its 74,845-seat Olympic Stadium, which has just undergone a €242 million ($325 million) facelift. "We're thrilled to host the third-largest event in sports," said Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, whose city is burdened with both high unemployment and a high amount of debt. The president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) would not give details of the vote that awarded the championships to Berlin, only saying it was a "decisive victory." Berliner Morgenpost reported the German capital received 24 out of 26 votes. Germany last hosted the world championships in 1993 in Stuttgart.

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