The IAAF Evaluation Commission, currently in Doha for a two- day visit, has so far been very impressed with the stadiums and facilities that Qatar hopes will accommodate the athletes and fans for the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships.
Delegates from the voting committee visited stadiums, training facilities, Aspetar sports hospital, Qatar Convention Centre and hotels in Doha yesterday.
At a press conference, Abdulla al-Zaini, president of the Qatar Association of Athletics Federations (QAAF) and Executive Director of Doha 2017 Bid Committee said many of the delegates were happy with the changes that have been made in the past few years.
Today the delegates will be touring the accommodation that the athletes and VIPs will be using in 2017.
Al-Zaini said that a number of delegates inquired about the weather for the summer Championship as it is a concern many of them have.
Al-Zaini said that he hopes the tour of the stadiums would allay many of their fears, and cited a recent study conducted by Aspetar on a number of athletes from different sports saying that heat does not significantly impact athletic performance.
Maher Safi, Marketing Manager at the QAAF, said: “I think this is going to work positively for us, we are going to share with the IAAF technology that can help in future events after 2017, we’re going to take this event to a new market.
“Whether it is the warm weather here in the Middle East or in Africa, or in cold weather in Chile or Canada, for example, we have the technology that we’re going to share with the world, how to manage climate in the field, where you can take your event to a new market and expand your sport.”
Safi also confirmed that Qatar Airways will be providing special tourism packages and reduced rates to promote attendance of the Championships.
He said that Qatar’s sporting tradition goes back to the 1970s, and hopes that many of the Middle East’s 60mn people will support Qatar’s 2017 Championships by taking part in the experience.
He said that during the 2010 World Indoor Championship, around 11% of the tickets were sold to European fans, and hopes that European fans will make a strong showing in 2017.
Andreas Thorkildsen, the Norwegian World and Olympic Javelin Champion, is an ambassador for the Qatar 2017 bid and has been escorting the delegates on their tour of Qatar. He said he is excited about the air-conditioned stadiums and is proud of his prior athletics experience in Qatar.
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