The 51st IAAF Congress concluded at ExCel London on Thursday (3) on the eve of the IAAF World Championships London 2017.

During his opening address, IAAF President Sebastian Coe compared his current presidency to his experience on the track.

“As a miler, I’ve always looked at things in four parts,” he said. “Two years into a four-year term – the half-way point – is a good time to take stock.

“Our report card must show undisguised progress. We have much to do on lap three. Let’s build on this now and enter the final lap poised to drive through to the line.”

His remarks were echoed by other speakers throughout the morning as the presidents of the six area associations gave their reports.

Among other formalities, the Development Panel, Competitions Panel, and Organisation Panel all gave updates on their work – both successes and struggles.

“We have reviewed and set in motion an extraordinary amount of change and at a pace that I know has made some of you nervous – at times me included,” said Coe. “But we had no choice. The pace of change was thrust upon us. But what we changed, how we changed and when we changed was our choosing.”

Congress decisions

The suspension of Russia was put to Congress, a requirement under the IAAF Constitution, and Russia was suspended with the right to reinstate them given to Council.

A total of 43 amendments were proposed by Member Federations and Council to both the 2017 and 2019 Constitutions: 13 proposals for the 2017 Constitution and 30 proposals for the 2019 Constitution.

A range of amendments from editorial wording and clarifications to discussions around appointees to the Executive Board, age limits and open voting.

· The proposal for Executive Board appointees upheld

· Geographical spread was agreed as guidance going forward for the Executive Board

· The proposal to reintroduce age limits was not approved

· Open voting has been maintained

Report from LOC

The day concluded with a report from the LOC for the IAAF World Championships London 2017.

“Back when we were awarded this event, we made three key promises: record attendances, putting athletes first, and new innovations,” said LOC director Niels de Vos.

“More than 700,000 tickets have been sold and we’re expecting about 150-200,000 people to line the streets to watch the marathons and similar figures for the race walks. We’re confident we’ll deliver more than one million spectators at this event, which I don’t think has been done at any other World Championships.”

De Vos went on to describe some of the innovations planned for the championships and explained the ways in which the athletes have been accommodated.

“Are we ready?” he concluded. “You bet your life we are.”