Chattanooga loses to Atlanta in hosting 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for marathon

Chattanooga loses to Atlanta in hosting 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for marathon

April 24th, 2018 by Mark Pace in Sports - Outdoors

This story was updated April 24, 2018, at 11:59 p.m

The 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for marathon will not be coming to Chattanooga and are instead heading to the Scenic City's Southern brother, Atlanta.

The United States Olympic Committee announced the decision Monday evening on its website. Chattanooga was one of four cities to bid for the race, along with Atlanta; Austin, Texas; and Orlando, Fla.

"Are we bummed? Of course we are. You never like to lose," said Tim Morgan, president of the Chattanooga Sports Committee. "However, we definitely put our best foot forward and made their decision harder. Even though we didn't win, we put ourselves in a good position for other USA Track and Field opportunities down the road."

USATF officials visited Chattanooga for the city's marathon last month. The showing made the decision "challenging" for officials, Morgan said, because the representatives told him they came to Chattanooga with a certain perception, only to be pleasantly surprised by its bustling downtown, volunteers' efforts and the city's ability to host an event.

The marathon trials are Feb. 29, 2020, and will take place in conjunction with the Atlanta Marathon, which is the following day. The top three female and male finishers in the trials will be named to the U.S. Olympic Team and compete at the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.

The committee highlighted the Georgia city's track record hosting running events and the 1996 Olympics. Atlanta was home to the USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships from 1994 through 2001 and regularly hosted the USATF 10-kilometer road racing championships.

"Atlanta's legacy in the sport, their creative commitment to athlete support, and the experience of their event management team were compelling," USATF CEO Max Siegel said in the announcement. "USATF looks forward to working with Atlanta Track Club, the City of Atlanta and the U.S. Olympic Committee on what promises to be an amazing Olympic Trials."

Contact staff writer Mark Pace at mpace@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6659. Follow him on Twitter @themarkpace and on Facebook at ChattanoogaOutdoorsTFP.


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