March 12 - Bruno Grandi, President of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), has said Qatar is "now ready to host a World Championships" in the sport.
The Gulf state is the only bidder to have been named by the sport's world governing body for the 2018 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships - the host of which is due to be named at the FIG Council's next meeting in Kuwait on May 9 and 10, but Grandi sees the bid as an opportunity to promote gymnastics to a wider audience.
"In these rapidly changing times, most sports are faced with increasing opportunities and challenges," he told insidethegames.
"Gymnastics must consider going beyond its traditional setting in order to secure an even stronger future.
"The bid of Qatar for the 48th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in 2018 offers a new opportunity to innovatively promote gymnastics, to set new standards for the event and to further strengthen the role and status of the FIG."
Grandi claimed that since its creation in 2000, the Qatar Gymnastics Federation - which became affiliated with the FIG in 2002 - has developed quickly and already has athletes competing at international events.
"As the pioneer for several gymnastics disciplines in the Gulf region, Qatar Gymnastics has also shown efforts to promote women's sports participation in the country," he added.
"With the experience of having organised several World Cups, we believe the country is now ready to host a World Championships."
Qatar is proposing the Aspire Dome in Doha, which is due to host an Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Series event on March 26 until 28, as the venue for the 2018 World Championships and the Government has "assured its complete support of the Championships in case of a successful bid", according to Grandi.
This, he said, "is an important factor when it comes to the event allocation".
Serge Van Poelvoorde, marketing manager of the Qatar Gymnastics Federation, said the national body is working hard to secure the showpiece event.
"For the very first time all lights might be turned in October 2018 to Doha for the hosting of the 48th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships," he told insidethegames.
"This world class event brings together more than 500 gymnasts from more than 100 countries coming from the five continents to the delight of the gymnastics fans.
"The award by the FIG of this major competition in Qatar would be the culmination of a team effort for over 10 years."
If Qatar does go on to win the hosting rights for the World Championships it will be just the latest in an already long list of major international sporting events due to take place in the country in the coming years.
These include the 2014 International Aquatics Federation (FINA) World Short Course Swimming Championships, the 2015 Men's World Handball Championship, the 2016 Cycling World Road Championships and the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
It is thought the hosting of such events will help lay the foundations for a successful Olympic and Paralympic bid, following failed attempts by Qatar for the 2016 and 2020 Games.
The National Olympic Committee has said it will keep bidding for the Olympics in the hope that "one day the dream will happen to host the Olympics in the Middle East".
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April 2013: Doha set to host 2018 Artistic World Gymnastics Championships after launching bid