By Nick Butler at the InterContinental Hotel in Doha

The IAAF Evaluation Commission has arrived in Doha ahead of the two-day inspection ©Getty ImagesDoha will be the third and final stop for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Evaluation Commission as they inspect the bids to host the 2019 World Championships.

Following visits to Barcelona and Eugene earlier this month, the eight-strong Commission, chaired by IAAF vice-president Sebastian Coe, arrived here today ahead of two days of meetings and venue visits, starting tomorrow.

This will include visits to key Doha 2019 sites, including the Khalifa International Stadium, the potential venue for the Championships which is currently undergoing renovation work so as to be upgraded to the "highest technical standards".

The Qatar National Convention Centre, where, if successful, the IAAF Congress held alongside the Championships would take place, is also being visited.

"We are greatly honoured to welcome the IAAF Evaluation Commission to Doha," said Dahlan Al Hamad, the Qatar Athletics Federation (QAF) President, who is also head of the Asian Athletics Association.

"This is our opportunity to show the Commission and the world that Doha has many unique offerings.

"Our bid will utilise our proven experience of hosting world class events, our existing state-of-the-art facilities and our world-leading sporting innovation, all of which we believe will enable us to deliver an exceptional World Championships in a new region.

"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."

If Doha is successful, the 2019 World Championships would be held in the Khalifa International Stadium ©Doha 2019If Doha is successful, the 2019 World Championships would be held in the Khalifa International Stadium ©Doha 2019

The Qatari capital, which lost out to London in the race for the 2017 World Championships, is widely seen as the favourite for the 2019 edition, as the Gulf nation aims to build upon its ever-increasing experience in hosting major sporting events.

This experience includes the 2006 Asian Games, the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships, the 2011 Arab Games and the annual IAAF Diamond League meeting - previously the IAAF Super Grand Prix - held every year since 1997.

World Championships in swimming and handball are also scheduled for the next 12 months, while, in the more distant future, the FIFA World Cup will take place here in 2022.

More specifically for athletics, Doha 2019 believe hosting the World Championships in the Middle East for the first time would present a huge opportunity to bring the sport to a new generation of competitors and fans.

Various international stars have already backed the bid, including New Zealand's two-time Olympic shot put champion, Valerie Adams and Bahamas London 2012 gold medallist Chris Brown, as well as Qatar's Mutaz Barshim, the World Indoor and Asian Games champion.

A latest addition to this group is Russia's double European 110 metre hurdles gold medal winner, Sergey Shubenkov, who is due to join the Doha 2019 Bid Committee for the duration of the Evaluation Commission's visit.

Russian hurdler Sergey Shubenkov has become the latest international star to endorse Doha 2019 ©Getty ImagesRussian hurdler Sergey Shubenkov has become the latest international star to endorse Doha 2019 ©Getty Images

With Doha 2019 also billed as a way to boost sporting opportunities for women in the region, teenage Qatari talents Mariam Farid and Dalal Ajmi are also key backers, with the duo aiming to compete in front of a home crowd in five years time.

"It is my dream to be world champion but to do this in Doha, in front of my friends and family, would be amazing," Ajmi, a promising 15-year-old 400m sprinter and 400m hurdler, said.

"I would be so proud to represent my country in my country.

"We are training so hard to collect medals and show everyone what we can do.

"The QAF support us so much - they are like our family and we will make them proud."

Shubenkov joins a host of the world's greatest international athletes in supporting the bid,

A final decision on which city will host the Championships is due to taken by the IAAF Council at its meeting in Monaco on November 18 following presentations from the three bidders. 

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