By Nick Butler

Russia will host the 2014 and 2015 World Championships ©Getty ImagesNovember 29 - Russian cities Kazan and Moscow have been awarded the 2014 and 2015 editions of the World Championships after they were the only candidates, it has been announced at the the International Fencing Federation Congress at Automobile Club de France in Paris.

The 2014 Championships were originally due to be held in Sofia before the Bulgarian capital announced its withdrawal, for financial reasons, earlier this year.

It was then expected to be a battle between Kazan and San Francisco but the American city also withdrew before the decision was made leaving the decision as a formality.

A similar situation arose for the 2015 event with Moscow ultimately the only contender despite expectations of an American bid.

It continues the trend of the Championships being held in European locations after Kiev and Budapest respectably hosted the 2012 and 2013 events.

It also continues the trait of sporting events being held in both Kazan and Moscow, as well as Russia as a whole in what is the world's largest country "Decade of Sport."

The 2014 World Championships will follow the 2013 Summer Universiade, which began with this Opening Ceremony, in being held in Kazan ©Getty ImagesThe 2014 World Championships will follow the 2013 Summer Universiade, which began with this Opening Ceremony, in being held in Kazan ©Getty Images

It has so far included the Summer Universiade in Kazan and the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, both held this summer.

Kazan will also host the World Aquatics Championships in 2015, while before then the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics will be held in Sochi.

In 2016 Russia will host the Ice Hockey World Championships before the FIFA World Cup in 2018.before the 2019 Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk.

With Russia among the world's strongest fencing nation's the two events will form a key component of this impressive roster of events.

International Fencing Federation (FIE) President Alisher Usmanov - Russia's richest man with an estimated fortune of $17.6 billion (£11.5 billion/€13.5 billion) - was quick to praise the freshly confirmed hosts, and particularly Kazan, for stepping in to host the event.  

"We would like to thank Kazan for their readiness to host the next year's World Championships," he said.

"The Russian Federation and Kazan responded to our request as no other cities expressed their interest.

"In my capacity of FIE President I extend my sincere gratitude to Rustam Minnikhanov, President of Tatarstan, for his support.

"We are confident that Kazan can provide excellent facilities and infrastructure and even with the little time left, the Organising Committee will be prepared to host a top level event. "