The eight-person IAAF Evaluation Commission for the 2019 World Championships will be arriving in Doha today to begin their inspection of the Qatari Capital’s Bid, just weeks before the vote to decide the host for the prestigious championships.
Doha officially submitted its Candidature File to host the flagship athletics event on 25th September and is competing against bids from Barcelona, Spain and Eugene, USA, which the Commission already visited earlier this month. The final decision will be taken by the IAAF Council at its meeting in Monaco on 18th November.
The Commission, chaired by IAAF Vice-President Sebastian Coe and consisting IAAF Council Members IAAF senior staff and sponsors, will attend working meetings during their two-day visit and will tour key Doha 2019 sites such as Khalifa International Stadium – where the Championships will be held and which is currently being upgraded to the highest technical standards. Members of the commission will also take in Qatar National Convention Centre, where, if successful, the IAAF Congress would be held. The impressive venue is already host to the world’s most prestigious and complex congresses and one of the most sustainable venues in the world. Over the span of the two day visit, the Commission will examine Doha’s ability to successfully host the 2019 IAAF World Championships.
Speaking about the arrival of the Evaluation Commission, President of the Qatar Athletics Federation, Dahlan Al Hamad said:
“We are greatly honoured to welcome the IAAF Evaluation Commission to Doha. This is our opportunity to show the Commission and the world that Doha has many unique offerings. Our bid will utilise our proven experience of hosting World Class events, our existing state-of-the-art facilities and our world- leading sporting innovation, all of which we believe will enable us to deliver an exceptional World Championships in a new region. Doha 2019 presents an excellent opportunity to connect athletics with an untapped market and inspire more young people across the region to choose athletics as their number one sport.”
The Doha 2019 Bid Committee, consisting of members of the Qatar Athletics Federation and the Qatar Olympic Committee, has meticulously prepared for the visit in cooperation with the Bid’s partners including the Aspire Zone, Msheireb Properties and BeIn Sports.
The Qatari Capital is no stranger to impeccably hosting world-class international sporting events and already has under its belt the 2006 Asian Games, the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships, the 2011 Arab Games and the annual IAAF Diamond League meeting (previously the IAAF Super Grand Prix), which has been held every year since 1997.
In the coming year Doha will host other world-class sporting tournaments including the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), the Qatar ExxonMobil Open (ATP) and the 24th Men’s Handball World Championships – demonstrating Doha’s readiness and proven experience in playing host to some of the world’s premier sporting events.
Doha 2019 believes that hosting the World Championships in the Middle East for the first time ever will present an unparalleled opportunity to connect the world of athletics to a new generation of future athletes and fans. Doha is a gateway to 450 million people across 22 countries and 60% of these people are under the age of 30. This huge population would be inspired to participate in athletics, creating more elite athletes from across the region, providing more role models, spreading the values of sport and engaging the whole population through athletics.
Recently announced Doha 2019 Ambassador, Russian hurdler Sergey Shubenkov, will join the Doha 2019 Bid Committee for the duration of the IAAF Evaluation Commission’s visit.
Shubenkov joins a host of the world’s greatest international athletes in supporting the bid, which include Shot Put legend, Valerie Adams, Canadian Commonwealth High Jump Champion, Derek Drouin, and Bahamian sprinting hero Chris Brown. They have all competed in Doha and recognise Doha’s ability to host successful athletics events, its fantastic facilities and the opportunities that hosting the 2019 World Championships will bring to the whole region.
Qatar’s own athletes including this year’s IAAF Diamond Race winner and IAAF World Indoor Champion, Mutaz Barshim, World Junior Champion, Ashraf Elseify, and up and coming athletes, including young females Mariam Farid and Dalal Ajmi, are all backing the bid. It is their joint dream to compete in Doha in 2019 in front of a home crowd and create a lasting legacy for their country and their region. Dalal Ajmi said:
“It is my dream to be World Champion but to do this in Doha, in front of my friends and family, would be amazing. I would be so proud to represent my country in my country. We are training so hard to collect medals and show everyone what we can do. The Qatar Athletics Federation support us so much – they are like our family and we will make them proud.”
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