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Birmingham ready for the world

THE OFFICIAL Opening of the 17th IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham will start on Thursday evening, March 1. The opening event begins at 18:25 and will be followed by the two high jump finals and the women’s 3000m final.

Katherine Merry will welcome visitors at the beginning of the Official Opening. Merry won the 400m bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and was the fastest one-lap runner in the world in 2001.

There will be short speeches from Ian Ward, the Leader of Birmingham City Council and chair of the Executive Steering Group of the championships, and IAAF President Sebastian Coe before the championships are officially opened by the Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands, John Crabtree.

All participating Member Federations will be welcomed by Arena Birmingham with a light show, ‘Travel around the World’, featuring the participating countries.

The sequence of events at the Official Opening will be:

- Start of the Opening: ‘Birmingham Welcomes The World’ on the big screen
- Welcome from Katherine Merry, Britain’s 2000 Olympic Games 400m bronze medallist
- Facts and Figures about the Championships
- Welcome speeches from:
• Leader of Birmingham City Council and chair of the Executive Steering Group of the championships, Ian Ward
• IAAF President Sebastian Coe
• The Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands, John Crabtree, who will officially open the Championships
- National Anthem of Great Britain & Northern Ireland played by the Royal Air Force band
- Light Show ‘Travel Around the World’ and Pyro shots to end the Official Opening.

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