Monaco - London has beaten the Qatari capital Doha in the bid to host the 2017 world athletics championships, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced on Friday.
The British capital won by 16 votes to 10 after both cities made their final presentations for the biennial event before the IAAF here.
It will be the first time the championships will be held in Britain.
British Prime Minister David Cameron hailed the decision, saying there was no better way to build on the 2012 Olympics.
"This is great news both for London and the whole country," Cameron said in a statement.
"There is no better way to follow the Olympics, and to build on its legacy, than by welcoming the world's greatest athletes back to London for the 2017 world championships.
"We are determined to make 2017 the most successful world athletics championships there has ever been and we look forward to welcoming athletes and fans from the world over to our vibrant, multicultural, sports-mad capital."
London's bid was spearheaded by former double Olympic gold medallist Sebastian Coe, who is also chairman of the organising committee for the 2012 London Olympics.
The presentation also included a contribution from London mayor Boris Johnson, who stressed that the championships would build on the legacy of the 2012 Games and would take place in the newly-built Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east London.
Doha's bid team emphasised the possibility of opening the premier Olympic sport to new frontiers and stressed the huge financial support offered by the rich Arab emirate which will host the 2022 World Cup.
Moscow are hosting the 2013 championships with Beijing staging the 2015 edition.