• Reuters

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The 18th edition of the World Athletics Championships begins in Eugene, Oregon on Friday. Though it is remarkably the first time the event has been held in the United States, the sport’s leaders are banking on it causing a stir in the host country.

One of the great anomalies of athletics is that the United States has been its dominant superpower for more than a century, but has never really taken the sport to its heart in terms of live attendances or TV audiences or media coverage.

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