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AIPS and IAAF celebrate veteran athletics journalists in London

The 56 journalists who have covered 10 or more IAAF World Championships (Photo: Getty Images)
by Alejandro Munevar and Marie van der Donk, AIPS Young Reporters

LONDON, August 10, 2017 - During the 16th World Championships in London, AIPS and and IAAF honored over 50 colleagues who have dedicated their careers to the coverage of the world athletics. All those who have covered 10 or more World Championships were recognized during a special ceremony at Casa Atletica Italiana, the house of Italian Athletics on Thursday.

Along with IAAF President Sebastian Coe and AIPS President Gianni Merlo, guests of honor at the event, attended by over 100 members of the media, were IOC member Austin Sealy from Barbados and President of African Athletics Hamad Kalkaba Malboum.

Ten journalists who were present at the first IAAF World Championships in 1983 in Helsinki were also present at the event and where given special recognition for having covered all 16 editions of the global summit of athletics.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe highlighted the importance of storytelling in the sport as he delivered diplomas to those who have covered all 16 Championships. “For our events we need advertisers, brands and companies, but journalists are the most loyal sponsors of all. I know no one else but you who helped us grow our sport. You are the witnesses of our sport, and the reason we are one of the greatest.”

“You are the ones who, from the very beginning have created space for our sport in your newspapers, you fight for our sport and you want to engage with audience on the importance of athletics all the time, not just during a major event,” the IAAF President said.

Investing in youth

In his opening speech, AIPS President Gianni Merlo, insisted on the importance of honoring the work of journalists and investing in the youth of the profession. IAAF and AIPS had brought four Young Reporters from four continents to the World Championships in London. “Now we need to prepare the Young Reporters so they know how to be on a top level, and this is the only way they will do it, we are giving an opportunity so they can have experience in a top event as the IAAF Championships”.

Sebastian Coe, who had arranged a one-on-one meeting with the Young Reporters earlier that day highlighted the bridge that young journalists represent with the public. “Our sport has a big following and a massive appetite and we need to deliver stories and narratives, and that's where young journalists are going to help us, creating the bridgehead with the young athletes and the new fans coming to the sport”.

The essence of storytelling

Both presidents agreed that the growth of athletics owes much to the media, and depends on it even more in the future. New generations need to continue the path of older ones, by humanizing the sport, looking for stories that let people feel the emotion within it. “The new generations need to continue the path, in the old times we were looking to write about stories, not only marks and results, now the channels to inform have changed but not the essence of the story, Gianni Merlo said.

After the ceremony the awarded journalists and the guests were invited to enjoy a Pasta Party, where internationally-renowned Italian chef Gianfranco Vissani designed a special menu for the guests.

Below is the full list of journalists who have covered 10 or more World Championships:

Franco Fava Corriere dello Sport Italy 16
Giuliano Bevilacqua Photographer, The World of Sports Italy 16
George Herringshaw Sporting Heroes Great Britain 16
Olaf Brokmann Kronen Zeitung, Germany Austria 16
Peter Frei sda-Sport Switzerland 16
Manfred Steffny Laufmagazin-spiridon Germany 16
Claus Andersen Athletics Magazine/Athletics Canada Canada 16
Elliott Denman Asbury Park Press USA 16
Nikolay Ivanov Lekaya Atletika/Mir Novostey Russia 16
Gianni Merlo La Gazzetta dello Sport Italy 16
Gladys Chai von der Laage ASVOM Agency Germany 16
Mats Wennerholm Aftonbladet Sweden 15
Karolos SARGOLOGOS Stivosspor Greece 15
José Luis López Cadena SER Spain 15
Philippe Vande Le Soir Belgium 15
Fred Baer USA Today USA 15
Jean-Pierre Durand JPD Photosport France 15
Walt Murphy NBC USA 14
Alfons Juck Slovak Television - RTVS Slovakia 14
Giancarlo Colombo Photographer, Omega, Italy 14
Alexandre Lachat Le Quotidien Jurassien Switzerland 14
Lars Lystad NRK TV Norway 14
Carlo Santi Il Tempo Italy 14
John Bagratuni Deutsche Presse-Agentur -DPA Germany 13
Andreas Schirmer Deutsche Presse-Agentur -DPA Germany 13
Ambrogio Sala Corriere del Ticino Switzerland 13
Zoran Mihajlov Macedonian Radio Television - MRT Macedonia 13
David Eiger Maariv Israel 13
José Antonio Miguelez TEMP SPORT MIGUELEZ Spain 13
Paul Merca Northwest Runner USA 13
Volker Hirth ARD Germany 13
Jens Jörg Rieck ARD-Radio Germany 13
Marc Ventouillac L’Equipe France 12
Duncan Mackay insidethegames Great Britain 12
Klaus-Dieter Kullmann Die Rheinpfalz Germany 12
Ulrike John Deutsche Presse-Agentur -DPA Germany 12
Iris Hensel Iris Hensel Fotografie Germany 12
Giorgo Cimbrico Il Secolo XIX Italy 12
Franco Bragagna RAI Italy 12
Rifaat El Nagar Egypt 12
Kris Meertens Belgian Television (BEVRT) Belgium 12
Marco Sicari FIDAL Italy 12
Vladimir Drbohlav Ceska Televize Czech Republic 11
Michal Dusik Ceska Televize Czech Republic 11
Serghei Donets Sport-Time Moldova 11
Kwame Laurence Trinidad Express Trinidad and Tobago 11
Brent Stubbs The Tribune The Bahamas 11
Uri Goldbourt Olam Haritza Magazine Israel 11
Nicolas Herbelot L'Equipe France 11
Steve Smythe Athletics Weekly USA 11
Alexander Hassenstein Getty Images Germany 11
Kirby Lee Image of Sport USA 11
Marc Willems Belgian Television (BEVRT) Belgium 11
Georgi Banov 24 chasa Bulgaria 10
Phil Minshull Spain Sports Services, Spain Great Britain 10
Carlos Arribas El País Spain 10
Emanuela Audisio La Repubblica Italy 10
Joze Zidar Slovenian Press Agency STA Slovenia 10
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