IAAF World Indoor Championships come to an end
PORTLAND, Ore. - Fans, athletes, and organizers say the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland was a huge success.
"Well I think that everybody who had the idea that track fans are only in Eugene I think are realizing that the state of Oregon has a special connection with the sport of track and field," said Vin Lananna, TrackTown U.S.A. president.
Lananna said he's heard only positive feedback from coaches and athletes. Even the last day attracted sell-out crowds. Overall, more than 39,000 people visited the Oregon Convention Center over four days.
"The crowd's really excited so there's a ton of energy in there. It's a lot of fun," said Brandon Manning, a spectator.
Team U.S.A. brought in big results win a record 23 medals. Some athletes credit the home turf advantage.
"I live fifteen minutes away, so just rolling out of my bed and over here is just kind of a tremendous advantage," said Matthew Centrowitz, Olympic gold medalist.
The championships showed off the American track and field culture.
"The reason is 'cause we have the great athletes in the United States," Lananna said.
The event even showed off a younger generation, six high school track teams from Oregon, Washington, and Idaho ran the 4 x 400 meter relay.
"I was watching it on TV yesterday and Asafa Powell was running. It was crazy, this Olympian, it's like I totally forgot about that. It's just great to be here," said Jacob Lancaster from Sheldon High School.
Now the buzz is all about the outdoor championships set for 2021 in Eugene.
"Nothing's going to get handed to you. So it's good to start to get myself prepared in these situations now for the bigger championship meets and the outdoor," said 800 meter competitor, Laura Roesler.
In Oregon, there's hardly a moment when track and field fans aren't looking forward to the next sporting event.
Lananna said they'll announce plans for a summer series for 2016, 2017, and 2018 within the next two weeks.