Colorful Opening for the World Championships in Beijing

Just like during the Olympics, Mondotrack returns as the star at the Bird's Nest stadium.


Seven years after the 2008 Olympic Games, the international track and field spotlight again turned to the Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest) at Beijing’s Olympic Park for the 15th IAAF World Championships. This is the biggest event to be held at the stadium since the 2008 Olympics where five world records were broken on the Mondotrack surface. A new Mondotrack surface was recently installed in the main stadium and structures adjacent to the stadium.

On a smaller scale than the 2008 Olympic Games, but no less colorful, Beijing opened the Bird's Nest Saturday to 50,000 spectators with an opening ceremony that featured a theme of “Flying with Dreams” and was packed with music, dancers and flags of all the competing nations representing the 2,000 or so participating athletes.

In addition to the opening ceremony, the stadium hosted the first races Saturday, and the first medals have been awarded, including a gold media to Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, who won his third World Championships 100m title with a time of 9.79, edging out the United State’s Justin Gatlin by .01 seconds. Britain’s Mo Farah won the 10,000m race winning his third world title with a time of 27:01.13

The IAAF World Championships run through Aug. 30.