Doha to bid for 2019 World Athletics Championships
IAAF considers Doha's interest to bid for 2019 World Athletics Championships
IAAF Evaluation Commission chairman, Lord Sebastian Coe has given hope to Qatar's bid to host the 2019 World Athletics Championships.
The IAAF Council will select the successful bid in Monaco on 18 November.
Lord Coe said the IAAF would seriously consider the interest shown by Qatar Olympic Committee Secretary-General, Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al Thani, in leading the Doha bid.
He said Doha "had a good partnership” with the IAAF and he recognised the importance of the event to athletes in Qatar and the region.
Sheikh Saoud is also the chairman of the Doha 2019 bid committee. He and Qatar Athletics Federation President, Dahlan Jumaan al Hammad, welcomed Lord Coe and the IAAF Secretary-General, Essar Gabriel, at a press conference after the IAAF inspectors completed their two-day visit to Qatar.
Sheikh Saoud acknowledged the connection between world-class sporting infrastructure and sporting events in Qatar, emphasising the country’s recent win in the Asian Games. “We won six gold medals and three bronze. This shows how the sporting infrastructure is helping us,” he said.
The Doha 2019 bid committee says hosting the event in the Middle East for the first time will present opportunities to connect the world of athletes to an untapped market. Doha is a gateway to 450mn people across 22 countries and 60% of these people are under 30 years of age.
Seen as a benefit to Doha is the fact that athletics will be showcased to a new region and a new generation of spectators not exposed to this level of competition. This huge population would be inspired to participate in athletics, creating more elite athletes from across the region.