Doha, The eyes of the world will turn to Doha on Friday with the start of the 17th edition of the IAAF World Athletics Championships (Doha 2019), hosted by the State of Qatar for the first time in the Middle East region. With an unprecedented participation of the world athletics champions, about 2,000 participants from 209 countries are taking part in the tournament.
Doha is well prepared for the start of this global sports event, which millions of people around the world will follow it as the World Athletics Championships is held after the football world cup and the Olympic games.
On Friday afternoon, the qualifiers of a number of races and competitions will kick off at Khalifa Stadium, then the first day will conclude with the final of the women’s marathon at 12:00 pm local time on the Doha Corniche, which is now ready for the start of the night marathon, to be organized for the first time in the history of the tournament.
HE Dahlan Al Hamad, Director General of the Organizing Committee of the Championship and President of the Asian Athletics Federation, said in a statement on the eve of the competitions that Doha is fully ready for the big sporting event, adding that all the facilities and potentials have been provided and ‘we are awaiting the start of the tournament today, which we hope will be an extraordinary tournament in the history of world athletics championships’.
He added that everyone in Qatar is exerting tremendous efforts in terms of cooperation and giving in order to achieve the distinctive success that Qatar has always known for in such big events and to ‘prove to the world that we are also ready to present a special World Cup in 2022’.
For his part, IAAF President Lord Sebastian Coe praised the great efforts made by the Organizing Committee of the championship and the facilities provided by Doha to present an amazing world championship in the State of Qatar, commending the atmosphere that accompanies the big international event and the cooling technology at Khalifa International Stadium, which hosts the competitions of the World Athletics Championships.
He stressed that the world is waiting to see a large number of world records made in various races and competitions of the Doha 2019, and that Khalifa Stadium encourages champions to do so.
The Doha 2019 may witness some world records made since years ago, most notably in the 400m hurdles as three runners with the second and third best timing will compete: Norwegian Karsten Warholm (46.92 seconds), Qatar Abdulrahman Samba and American Rai Benjamin (both 46.98s).
Khalifa International Stadium will host the IAAF World Athletics Championships except for the 20 and 50 km marathon and walking competitions which will be on Doha Corniche.
Khalifa Stadium is located in Aspire area, which includes a full range of modern sports facilities. Over the past four decades the stadium plays a key role in the sporting renaissance witnessed in Qatar, and was one of the most prominent facilities that hosted major competitions, and it is ready today to host the IAAF World Athletics Championship, three years before it hosts the 2022 World Cup.
Established specifically for the fourth Gulf tournament in 1976, the stadium had a capacity of 20,000 spectators and returned to host the most prominent Gulf event in 1992 after undergoing an expansion and modernization process.
The stadium capacity has been upgraded to at least 40,000 spectators, and hosted once again the 2006 Asian Games, which Qatar hosted for the first time in the Middle East. The stadium also hosted some 2011 AFC Asian Cup football matches, including the opening and final matches.
The area around the stadium has grown exponentially after the construction of Aspire Dome, one of the largest indoor sports venues with a football stadium and multi-purpose lounges that have hosted international events, including the 2010 World Athletics Championships, as well as Olympic swimming pools.
Close to the stadium, Aspetar Hospital, one of the world’s most prestigious orthopedic and sports medicine facilities, was built, where many stars have undergone tests and treatments, most notably the most expensive player in the world Brazilian Neymar.
The stadium was modernized after renovation and was reopened in 2017, with roofs topped by arches representing continuity and symbolizing the embrace of fans from all over the world.
Khalifa Stadium is the first stadium to be tested by the cooling technology that came into effect for the first time in the 2017 Amir Cup final, with temperatures falling inside it between 23 and 25 degrees. Around 500 cold air nozzles are included throughout the stadium.
These nozzles have been specially designed in Qatar, using removable plastic parts, allowing air to be pumped or pushed to the area they are intended to reach. The fans will enjoy the cool atmosphere, as will be the case at the 2022 World Cup, where Khalifa International Stadium will be one of the eight hosting stadiums, and will host matches from the first round to the quarter-finals. (QNA)
Source: Qatar Olympic Committee