Moscow set to welcome the world
Guardian Sports Editor
Published: Aug 10, 2013
MOSCOW, Russia – With an atmosphere unlike any other, and in true Russian flair, the city of Moscow is set to welcome the world. Over 2,000 athletes representing more than 200 countries have come to Europe’s second largest city for the biggest athletics meet in the world.
The city of Moscow hosted the world indoors in 2006, and given the tremendous success of that meet the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) has decided to bring the world outdoor event to the Russian capital.
The 14th IAAF World Championships got underway this morning in Moscow, and continues until August 18. The last major outdoor athletics championships to be held at the famed Luzhniki Big Sports Arena was the boycotted Olympics of 1980. The opening ceremony of those Olympics was indeed grand, but according to reports tonight’s show is expected to dwarf even that, featuring a combination of Russian music, dance, science and literature.
The concept of the opening ceremony tonight is “being ahead of time”, signifying the achievements of Russian composers and scientists, and the advancement of Russian ballet.
Huge makeshift models of space ships, created by scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, will be on display. Russian scientist Dmitry Mendeleev will also be recognized and posthumously honored.
Former Russian middle
distance runner and current world record holder for the mile, Svetlana Masterkova, will anchor tonight’s festivities as she passes over a symbolic baton of generations relay to a young athlete. The two-time Olympic champion will fit prominently into the “appearance of the mascot” concept. Composer and producer Vyacheslav Tyurin will guide her through the event with his music.
The special show tonight is expected to conclude with a pyrotechnic exhibition, showing over the entire Luzhniki area, with respectable background music.
As for The Bahamas, two athletes will see action today. Shavez Hart will run in the opening round of the men’s 100 meters (m), and Bianca ‘BB’ Stuart will jump in the qualifying round of the women’s long jump.