Gdynia Half Marathon applying for IAAF World Championships

Polish National Athletics Association (PZLA) has officially announced Gdynia Half Marathon will be the country's candidate to host IAAF Half Marathon World Championships in 2020. Gdynia beat the cities of Warsaw and Sopot which also submitted their applications.

- This decision gives us strong motivation but we also feel huge responsibility now - says Michał Drelich, race director. - Together with the city authorities in Gdynia, as well as the Polish National Athletics Association, we will do as much as we can for the World Championships 2020 to be held in Gdynia - he adds.

The bidding process will be completed by the end of 2017.

- Athletes love Gdynia and this love is reciprocated. Now it is time for us to convince the IAAF that Gdynia is an ideal location for the World Championships 2020 - says Wojciech Szczurek, Mayor of the city of Gdynia. - Gdynia Half Marathon has already been acknowledged by the IAAF and the European Athletics, receiving IAAF Road Race Bronze Label and Five-Star Quality Road Race certificates, respectively. Applications of Warsaw and Sopot were also very strong but we decided to take "Direction Gdynia 2020" and I am convinced this choice is the best one we could make - adds Jerzy Skucha, President of PZLA.

Gdynia's candidacy has also been endorsed by a number of Polish former athletics stars, including Lidia Chojecka, Anna Rogowska, Paweł Czapiewski and Jacek Wszoła, to name a few.

Gdynia Half Marathon 2017 will take place on March 19. Currently, 1500 athletes are registered. More information can be found on the official race website - www.gdyniapolmaraton.pl.