UN World Food Programme

Sporting history up for grabs in IAAF charity auction

Track and field fans will have a unique chance to buy their own piece of sporting history from 16-26 January when the IAAF auctions off memorabilia from some of athletics' most famous moments through the Internet.

Track and field fans have a unique chance to buy their own piece of sporting history from 16-26 January as the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) auctions off memorabilia from some of athletics' most famous moments through the Internet.

Over 50 athletes, including 23 world record breakers, have donated running vests, bib numbers, statues and signed photos associated with their most celebrated victories to the IAAF's "Athletics for a Better World" humanitarian project.

The items of memorabilia will be sold to the highest online bidders to raise money for three UN agencies: WFP, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

All the auction lots are available for bids for a ten-day period via the on-line auction house eBay: click here to take part.

Largest-ever collection

Fans will be bidding for one of the largest-ever collections of sporting memorabilia, including one of the record-breaking 100-metre spikes worn by the world's fastest man Asafa Powell of Jamaica and the Sydney Olympic Games tracksuit of 200 and 400-metre legend Michael Johnson.

United States' sprinter Justin Gatlin has handed over the body suit he wore when winning the World Championships 100-metre final in Helsinki last August.

Among the larger items on offer is a javelin from the collection of three-time Olympic and World champion Jan Zelezny of the Czech Republic.

Mozambique's middle distance runner Maria Mutola has donated her Sydney Olympic Games gold medal winning kit, while WFP Ambassador and marathon world record holder Paul Tergat has given the running vest in which he narrowly won this year's New York marathon.

Ambassadors

Tergat is also the Africa ambassador for "Athletics for a Better World". As a hungry child growing up in Kenya's impoverished Rift Valley, Tergat benefited from WFP school meals and now credits his successful athletic career to the food he received.

Fellow campaign ambassadors are: Swedish hepathlete Carolina Kluft (Europe), 400-metre runner Debbie Ferguson of the Bahamas (Americas), discus thrower Beatrice Faumuina of New Zealand (Oceania) and Japanese hammer thrower Koji Murofushi (Asia).

Athletes from the past

Donors also include several track and field stars of the past, such as "Athlete of the Century" Carl Lewis and legendary long jumper Bob Beamon, both of the United States.

Lewis, one of only two athletes to win nine Olympic gold medals, including four consecutive titles in the long jump, has donated his competition vest from the 1986 Goodwill Games and a tracksuit.

Beamon has contributed a limited edition charcoal print depicting his ground-breaking 8.90-metre jump at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico. The jump broke the previous world record by 55 cm and still stands as an Olympic record, 37 years later.

Olympic torch

Pole vaulter Sergey Bubka of the Ukraine, a six-times IAAF world champion, former Olympic champion and the current world record holder, has donated his Athens Olympic torch relay polo shirt, together with the running spikes he used in his last year as a competitive athlete.

Another recently retired champion athlete, British triple jumper Jonathan Edwards, has given "Athletics for a Better World" an autographed picture of his world record-breaking jump at the Gothenburg World Championships in 1995.

The distance, of 18.29 metres, helped Edwards to the largest winning margin in a World Championship event and still stands as a record.

Taking part in the auction

For more information about the 16-26 January auction and how you can take part, see the Athletics for a Better World - the IAAF star's donation fund website.