By Duncan Mackay 

Doha will face rivals Barcelona and Eugene in its bid to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships ©Doha 2019Doha today released details of his bid to host the 2019 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships as it was officially confirmed that they will face Barcelona and Eugene. 

All three cities met today's IAAF deadline for submitting their Candidature Files.

Doha, who narrowly lost out to London in the race to host the 2017 Championships, will start as firm favourites to become the first city in the Middle East to host the IAAF's flagship event. 

They have promised to combine their experience as "tried and tested hosts of world-class events with sporting innovation to deliver a World Championships that will connect the world of athletics to an untapped market in a brand new region".

Innovation is at the heart of Doha 2019, they claim, although many of their plans were also included in their unsuccessful bid for 2017. 

This includes, what Qatar officials claim, is a revolutionary plans to reinvent the traditional concept of an Athletes' Village by by offering the first ever "Athletics City".

The single, brand new 35-hectare, mixed-use development, called Msheireb Downtown Doha, in the heart of the City will be handed over in its entirety for the dedicated use of the 2019 Championships, they have promised.

The quality of accommodation and the range of facilities available will be beyond anything ever experienced in a traditional Athletes' Village, they claim. 

Athletes and team officials will be accommodated in five-star quality apartments, with hotels, retail shops, restaurants, cafés and a full range of luxury leisure and entertainment facilities.

It will be  located less than 20 minutes from the Khalifa International Stadium and is on the doorstep of the Corniche, Doha's picturesque waterfront.

The Khalifa International Stadium is currently being renovated and will be the "most state-of-the-art purpose-built athletics" arena in the world when it is finished, it is promised ©Doha 2019The Khalifa International Stadium is currently being renovated and will be the "most state-of-the-art purpose-built athletics" arena in the world when it is finished, it is promised
©Doha 2019

The Khalifa International Stadium, which hosted the 2006 Asian Games and is the centre piece of Doha's Aspire Zone, is currently in the process of a redevelopment project to make, what Qatar officials claim, will be the most state-of-the-art purpose-built athletics arena in the world.

Doha's vision includes working with the IAAF to research innovative new solutions for competition timing, scoring, measurement and television production, using the latest technology.

There are already plans for the Stadium to feature a world-first 100 metre long video wall-screen that will revolutionise spectator viewing by redefining the replay experience and allowing coverage of multiple events and scoreboards to be viewed simultaneously, creating a unique experience for spectators.

Besides the 2006 Asian Games, widely considered to be the most edition of the event, Doha has also hosted the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships, the 2011 Arab Games and annually stages  a Diamond League event.

"We are delighted to have submitted our bid to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships today," said Dahlan Al Hamad, President of the Qatar Athletics Federation and a member of the IAAF's ruling Council.  

"We believe that we have a truly unique bid that will utilise our proven experience of hosting world-class events, our existing state-of-the-art facilities and our world-leading sporting innovation to deliver an exceptional World Championships in a new region.

"We are committed to continuing our work with the IAAF to develop athletics and ensure a lasting legacy from the World Championships.

"Doha 2019 presents an excellent opportunity to connect athletics with an untapped market and inspire more young people across the region to choose athletics as their number one sport."

Other venues that would be used in 2019 include the Qatar National Convention Centre, which would play host to the IAAF's Congress, and Aspetar, the first specialised Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital in the entire Gulf region.

The Anti-Doping Laboratory Qatar, the first of its kind in the region, located less than 500m from the Stadium's doping control room, would be in charge of analysing drug samples taken during the Championships.

Dates of when the Championships will be held have not been revealed, but it is likely to be September again, the same period they proposed for 2017.

Bob Hersh, the senior vice-president of the IAAF who led the Evaluation Commission for 2017, raised concerns about the heat even at that time of year but did praise Qatar's proposed state-of-the-art cooling technology.

The weather was not a "deal-breaker" for Doha he claimed. 

Doha is also seeking to allay fears that they will struggle to fill the 50,000-capacity Khalifa International Stadium by claiming the Championships present an "unparalleled opportunity" to connect the world of athletics to an untapped market.

Doha is a gateway to 450 million people across 22 countries and 60 per cent of these are under the age of 30, it is claimed. 

Doha will offer an opportunity for the IAAF to capitalise on an "untapped market", it is claimed ©AFP/Getty ImagesDoha will offer an opportunity for the IAAF to capitalise on an "untapped market", it is claimed ©AFP/Getty Images

"The Qatar Olympic Committee aims to become a leading nation in bringing the world together through sustainable sport development," said Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, secretary general and chief executive of the Qatar Olympic Committee. 

"There is no better tool to help us achieve this vision than hosting the IAAF World Championships - one of the biggest sports events in the world.

"This creates a wonderful opportunity to showcase world-class sport to our nation, engage a new generation, and spread the values of sport.

"We are committed to delivering the highest possible standards in every aspect of organising these prestigious Championships."

The IAAF is currently finalising the appointment of its Evaluation Commission, who will visit each of the three cities next month. 

The host city is due to be chosen by the IAAF Council at a meeting in November.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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