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IAAF picks Portland for 2016 world indoors

MONTE CARLO, Monaco (AP) — Giving the United States its biggest athletics event to host since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the IAAF awarded the 2016 World Indoor Championships to Portland, Oregon, on Friday.

The governing body for athletics also awarded the 2018 world indoors to Birmingham, England — the American team's training base for the London Olympics last year — after it was beaten for the 2016 hosting rights.

"This is a win-win situation for athletics," USA Track and Field President Stephanie Hightower said in a statement after helping present Portland's case to the IAAF ruling council. "It allows us to showcase the sport in the States and leaves the U.K. with a consistent series of high profile athletics events in the coming years."

London will also host the IAAF's outdoor world championships at the renovated Olympic stadium in 2017. The U.S. last hosted a senior track and field worlds in 1987, when Indianapolis staged the indoor event.

Portland's organizing committee plans to create a temporary track at the Oregon Convention Center to host the three-day meet, scheduled in March. "We plan to leave a lasting legacy of new facilities, a renewed passion, and a new model to present indoor track and field," said Vin Lananna, president of event promoter TrackTown USA.

The downtown Portland center will be adapted to a capacity of at least 8,000 spectators, USATF said. Birmingham previously hosted the world indoors in 2003. The next world indoors will be in March in Sopot, Poland.

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