After successful Doha Worlds, Qatar promises more exciting sports events

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On behalf of H H the Amir, President of Qatar Olympic Committee, and Chairman of the World Athletics Championships Organising Committee, H E Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, receiving the IAAF Golden Order of Merit from the President of the International Association of Athletics Federations, Lord Sebastian Coe, yesterday.

The biggest track and field show on earth came to a spectacular close last night with hosts Qatar promising to host more sports event in the future. 

The 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships ended at the iconic Khalifa International Stadium where 1972 athletes comprising 1054 men and 918 women from 208 countries took centre-stage under lights for most part of the hugely followed event.   

The 10-day event also witnessed the first ever midnight marathons held at Corniche.Qatar now is the first and only country in the Middle East to host the World Championships of track and field.

With the rapid progress in terms of performances by their athletes, and organisation of top level events over the years, Qatar will not stop here and will continue to promote the popular sport in the region, Dahlan Al Hamad, Vice-Chairman of the Organising Committee and Director General of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, said yesterday.

Speaking at a crowded press conference on the final day of 10-day event, Dahlan said Qatar achieved various objectives from the World Championships, which will leave a lasting impact on the sport in the region. “We are really happy to host the World Championships,” Dahlan, accompanied by IAAF President Sebastian Coe, said yesterday at the press conference. “The championships witnessed many good performances including a world record. Athletes were happy to be in Doha and we hope they will leave Qatar with a lot of memories.          

“We are really thrilled to partner with the IAAF to expand the horizon of athletics in the Middle East and the MENA region. It is a collective effort of our people and the government,” he said.

“If we go back to 1997 when athletics was just about the national team, and now we can see the fans in athletics are really increasing. Also we are happy because in Qatar, we have more than 100 communities, our duty is to make those communities to celebrate and see their athletes,” he said.

Dahlan added the event was a part of Qatar’s National Vision 2030, in which sports is one of the pillars.

 

“Our legacy here (World Championships) is to make new generation, those kids sports people. This is what we want, and we will keep promoting the sport until we see we are really going on the right direction. The fans are increasing and they are excited about the sport,” said Dahlan.  

To a query, Dahlan said the IAAF Doha Worlds will help Qatar in organising mega sports events in a more efficient manner.    

“We don’t say that we are perfect. There is nothing perfect in the world. There are many lessons (to be learnt) and we will review them after the championships,” he said. 

About the low turnout in the first couple of days during the championships, Dahlan said yesterday: “Filling stadiums is the challenge. This wasn’t the challenge in these world championships only, it is a challenge in every championships.

“First two days were hectic but if you see the last 3 days, the stadium was filled because people started to appreciate the results of the athletes.”

Dahlan, who is also the President of Asian Athletics Association (AAA), overall was pleased with the participation from the continent.  “I am happy that Asian countries are progressing. Things are going good. We have good cooperation with the IAAF and AAA, so this is something we want to enhance, for the time being we have good results from Asian countries like China Qatar and Japan,” he added.

Doha Worlds proved to be a blockbuster and witnessed many thrilling performances by the track and field stars at Khalifa International Stadium, which remained packed on most days of the competition.

American hurdler Dalilah Muhammad will return with a new world record from Doha as she clocked 52.16m in the women’s 400m hurdles to win gold medal. Netherlands’ Sefan Hassan also clinched a unique 10000m-1,500m double to make history in Doha. The event also saw various new championships, national and area records besides the personal bests from the competing athletes.  Qatari athletes also sent the home crowd into raptures as Mutaz Essa Barshim retained his crown to become the first high jumper to win back-to-back titles at worlds. Star hurdler Abderrahman Samba was the other Al Anabi athlete to clinch medal, claiming a bronze medal in men’s 400m hurdles. 

Qatar has been the centre of athletics events since the 2006 Asian Games and has been hosting the Diamond League since years. It also played host to the Asian Athletics Championships last April at the same venue.

Source: www.thepeninsulaqatar.com

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