Bubka: Poor crowds due to heat
Disappointed IAAF vice-president Sergey Bubka believes the poor attendance at the World Championships is because of the hot weather in Moscow.
The fine athletics on display has been somewhat overshadowed by the pitiful attendance at the imposing Luzhniki Stadium.
It has led to some rather embarrassing questions for the organisers, who are only selling tickets for only a fraction of the arena's capacity and from as low as 100 Roubles (less than £2).
The lack of interest is of concern to six-time world pole vault champion Bubka, who believes the warm weather may be behind it.
"When we (the IAAF) prepared the championships, we discussed with the local organising committee, government of Moscow, Ministry of Sport, the Russia Athletics Federation covering the upper deck," he said.
"The reduction of this stadium is to 35,000 spectators and this was planned.
"We insisted very seriously and very strongly regarding the promotional campaign and a lot of money was invested.
"They have a special spectator programme and generally up to 85,000 tickets were sold.
"Yesterday and today it's a very sunny day and I know for Muscovites they always go to their dachas (holiday homes) outside Moscow.
"Maybe some people have bought tickets and they don't attend.
"But I think, I hope and I will do my best to settle this issue as the crowd is most important.
"I competed and I arrived at the level where you go to compete for the spectators, for audience.
"If the stadium was empty, I was really disappointed because you try to do the best."
The Luzhniki's usual capacity is 75,000, but has been reduced by a third with a giant TV screen, banners covering seats and a large media tribune.
Just 35,000 tickets are available to the public for each session, with the rest reserved for VIPs, the media and teams.
"Basically if you look to the average sales, they are between 80 and 85 per cent," Bubka added.
"We've already sold 4,000 tickets today and I believe that we worked hard and we did a good promotion campaign.
"I was a little bit disappointed yesterday, for myself, but I believe it will be fine.
"It's clear it's a big honour for Russia to host this World Championships.
"They love sport and enjoy sport and Russian track and field is one of the best in the world."
The lack of support has also been noted by athletes such as American sprinter Allyson Felix, winner of eight world golds.
"I'm a little bit surprised," she said. "We definitely feed off the crowd and you always want to perform better in front of a lot of people, but you're also a true competitor.
"We're still going to see great performances, even if the crowd isn't what we expected it to be."