Qatar athletics chief promises cooling technology but has "no worries" on climate for Doha 2019 bid

Thursday, 08 May 2014
By Mike Rowbottom at the Hotel Intercontinental in Doha

Dahlan Al Hamad, QAF President, is confident that Qatar's bid to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships will be a success ©Qatar Athletics FederationDoha's bidders for the 2019 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships have underlined their willingness to provide cooling technology for venues if required, but have insisted the proposed autumn dates for the event would prove ideal.

Dahlan Al Hamad, President of the Qatar Athletics Federation, (pictured above), claimed  that Doha - which is competing for the Championships with Eugene and Barcelona - would "try to be fair to all athletes", adding:

"The timing of the 2019 World Championships will be end of September, beginning of October.

"I think this will be good. It will be the end of the season.

"We have no worries on the climate.

"It will give everybody the chance to be here.

"The athletics family will get to close the season in Qatar."

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's opening 2014 IAAF Diamond League meeting here, Al Hamad also insisted that Doha would be "ready" to host the IPC World Championships soon after the World Championships:

"In 2019 we will be ready to organise the IPC World Championships in Doha," he said.

"We took the example from the Olympics, and it is a very good idea."

On the subject of the conditions in Qatar, he explained: "We have the cooling technology.

"We will not neglect this idea of cooling.

"If weather changes, if we need to install the cooling system, the Government has plans to tackle this at [sports] stadiums.

"We are open to the idea. If we have to have it, we will have it."

Doha's Khalifa Stadium, a proposed venue for the IAAF World Athletics Championships bid ©AFP/Getty ImagesDoha's Khalifa Stadium, a proposed venue for the IAAF World Athletics Championships bid ©AFP/Getty Images

Al Hamad said Doha had picked up vital lessons from its unsuccessful bid for the 2017 World Championships, which will be held in London.

"Our friends from London won the bid," he said. 

"We congratulated them. We saw athletics at the Olympic Games in 2012.

"We believe that in 2017 we will have one of the best athletics world championships.

"We have learned our lessons.

"Any areas [ignored] in our previous bid will be covered this time.

"Maybe the bid for 2017 was lost but Qatar won in so many ways."

Looking ahead to the impending meeting, Al Hamad added:

"'The best of athletics happens in Doha' – that is our motto and our goal for the 2014 edition, and I am absolutely convinced that we will honour our commitment.

"We have gained valuable experience in hosting large-scale athletics events with a global impact, and this is why we are bidding for the 2019 World Championships.

"We have set high standards in organising such an important and prestigious sporting event in previous years and we aim to continue at the highest possible level.

"We have the expertise and the know-how, we have the means to justify our role as a key and trusted partner of the IAAF."

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


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