Doha bid for 2019 World Championships to draw on lessons from London defeat, says head of Qatar Athletics Federation

Friday, 10 May 2013
By Mike Rowbottom in Doha

khalifa international stadiumMay 10 - Doha's bid for the 2019 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships, which seems certain to go ahead, will draw on the lessons learned from its defeat by London in the contest for the 2017 version, the Qatari Athletics Federation President Dahlan al Hamad said here today.

Al Hamad, one of the three vice-presidents at the IAAF along with Sebastian Coe - who headed the successful London 2017 bid - and Sergey Bubka, insisted that Doha would continue to chase the global athletics meeting.

"Definitely, we will try in 2019 or beyond," he said.

"As a Federation, we have the desire to be hosts to the World Championships.

"Of course we have to gain the approval from the head of state, but I can assure you that, yes, we have the desire to go for it."

But he added that there would be changes in approach in the wake of the 16-10 defeat by London at the IAAF vote in November 2011 as Doha organisers looked ahead to a Championships scheduled, as the potential 2017 was, for "late September or the beginning of October" to avoid temperatures which reach up to 50 degrees here in midsummer.

"First of all the lesson that we learned was, even if you think that you have done everything according to the book, that doesn't mean that people will just give you the chance because you have prepared everything," said Al Hamad.

Dahlan al Hamad in centre Diamond League May 2013Dahlan al Hamad (centre) has promised that Doha will keep bidding until it is awarded the IAAF World Championships

"People at the higher levels they have to understand that the philosophy of their sport, where do they want their sports.

"The other day I said to Seb Coe, if not Qatar, I would vote for London, because we have seen the success of London [2012], we have seen how good the atmosphere was, and also we have seen how in the UK they were suffering that effect that the track is going to be removed from the [Olympic] Stadium.

"And for us it is really difficult to have that track removed from London.

"So this is the thing that you need to learn.

"There are other things which the decision makers look at.

"The second thing we learned from the IAAF is that you have to work with the people and deliver the right message at the right time.

"Also the evaluation of the technical committee showed there are things we need to modify in our bidding.

"And also we keep hosting the Diamond League and other sports which show that Qatar is committed to the sport and not just to getting the World Championships.

"I don't think the end of our road is the World Championships.

"This is a key for us in bidding for the 2019 Championships.

"We know that some of the other countries will bid for them. It's a fair game.

"We respect each other.

"We hope we can get it.

"But even in the worst scenario, if we don't get it we will be happy for the other nation because we know this is promotion for our sport."

Contact the writer of this story at mike.rowbottom@insidethegames.biz


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