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IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha set to be region’s biggest ever event
Due to commence on Friday 27th September, the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in the Qatar capital of Doha are set to be the Arabian Gulf region’s biggest ever sporting event.
To be held at the renovated 48,000 capacity Khalifa International Stadium - which will also host games during the FIFA 2022 World Cup - world athletics’ major event will see 2,000 athletes compete, backed by a similar number of officials.
With all nine previous world championships held this century have begun in August, Doha’s event has been moved to commence in late September - running until 6th October - because of concerns over the desert state's weather.
However, IAAF President Sebastian Coe says he is more worried about the potentially searing heat at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics than the Doha because of the temperature-controlling technology used in the Khalifa International Stadium.
Temperatures in Doha for the biennial track and field showpiece, being held for the first time in the Middle East, could easily hit 35 degrees Celsius with accompanying high humidity.
To combat this, Qatari organisers have turned to technology initially developed with the FIFA World Cup in mind, to guarantee ambient trackside temperatures for athletes and even spectators.
Fears over intense heat and humidity in the Tokyo summer, have crystallised at several Olympic test events in recent weeks, with some competitors and spectators taken ill and other events curtailed.
Tokyo Games organisers have also moved up the starting times for some sports, including the marathon, over fears for athletes' wellbeing.
Lord Coe told AFP in an interview in Zurich “actually, perversely, the management of the heat is going to be a bigger one in Tokyo than it will be in Doha.
"The technology at the Doha stadium is jaw-dropping. I've sat in the Stadium, it's been 38-40 degrees Celsius outside and it's 23 (degrees inside).
"The technology for the athletes is going to be first class, the indoor warm-up facilities air-conditioned, the call areas also.
"Under our auspices (in Doha) we have the technology in the stadium where the athletes are probably going to be competing in perfect conditions."
With marathons and race walks to be held at midnight and traditional morning sessions scrapped, Coe added “it's interesting because Doha has given us the opportunity to do a lot of work behind the scenes around the management of heat in competitors."
Organisers of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha are also looking to highlight the multicultural nature of the event, with the World Athletics Village - a fan zone offering cuisine from across the world, along with live entertainment offering fans and local community groups performances to add to the excitement before the competition gets underway.
With residents from over 80 different countries calling Qatar their home, a real effort has been made to unite everybody, through schools and sponsorship activations in Ooredoo Stores as well as in association with Qatar Airways initiatives.
Ooredoo’s Director of CSR, Sponsorship and Media, Moza Khalid Al-Muhannadi stated “having the IAAF World Athletics Championships here in Doha is a huge honour and being part of it is a dream come true.
“I look forward to showing the world what we are capable of doing, and to creating memories that will last a lifetime. Qatar has a spirit of generosity along with an eagerness to show what we’ve accomplished in our beautiful country.”
Images: Medals to be presented at IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 (top) and the interior of the Khalifa International Stadium (below).
20th August 2019 - Heat issues impact Tokyo Olympic test events
5th October 2018 - Qatar reveals upgraded Khalifa International Stadium
9th March 2018 - IAAF enters global ticketing services partnership with Ticketmaster
28th November 2017 - ‘Reusable’ stadium plan revealed for waterside FIFA 2022 World Cup venue
17th August 2017 - World athletics looks to Qatar after IAAF World Championships flag hand over
21st December 2016 - Qatar World Cup 2022 final stadium to transform into Theatre District
13th September 2015 - Doha prepares for hosting IPC Athletics World Championships
25th August 2015 - Qatar advances stadium cooling technology
26th April 2013 - Qatar moves forward in developing solar stadium cooling
16th May 2011 - Qatar Showcases Stadium Cooling Technologies
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