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Portland and Birmingham awarded world indoor champs

MONACO (Reuters) - The United States has been awarded the 2016 world indoor championships, while Britain will host the 2018 event, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said on Friday.

Portland, Oregon, will stage the athletics championships in March 2016, just a few months before the Rio Olympics, marking the first time the U.S. has hosted the event since 1987.

The 2018 event will be held in Birmingham, England, in the latest of a string of major athletic events awarded to Britain following the success of last year's London Olympics.

"This is a win, win situation for athletics," said U.S. Track and Field president Stephanie Hightower.

"It allows us to showcase the sport in the States and leaves the UK with a consistent series of high profile athletics events in the coming years."

Birmingham last hosted the world indoors in 2003 and the 2018 event will be the third major competition in Britain in three years with the Wales capital Cardiff hosting the world half marathon in 2016 and London hosting the world championships in 2017.

"This is the best possible outcome for Britain which keeps the momentum of world class athletics in the UK and for the IAAF too it is the best decision, helping to develop the sport in the USA," said Ed Warner, the Chairman of British Athletics.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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