This week in Monaco, Qatar is seeking two major coups in the world of athletics. On Tuesday, the Qatari capital of Doha will learn if it has been successful at the second time of asking for the right to host the International Association of Athletics Federations' (IAAF) World Championships.
On Tuesday (November 18) Doha returns to face opposition from Barcelona, which hosted one of the most successful Olympics of modern times in 1992, and Eugene, Oregon, a hotbed of United States athletic achievement underwritten in large part by the sportswear manufacturers Nike.
Lessons have been learned from the defeat by London, insists the Doha 2019 bid leader Dahlan Al-Hamad, the IAAF vice-president and head of the Qatar Athletics Federation.
"For 2017 we respected the decision, and there were definitely some shortages we learned from and this time our file is more complete," he said last month during an IAAF Evaluation Commission visit headed by Coe.
This time round there is less talk of air-conditioned stadiums from the city where August temperatures regularly reach 45 degrees and more discussion about dates and times, with the marathon events running in the evening. However, the proposed scheduling of the Championships in Doha, between the end of September and beginning of October, may create its own problems with other sporting calendars.
What is not yet clear is the exact amount Doha proposes to lay out on hosting the Championships. On the eve of the last vote, they played a powerful late card, pledging a massive financial investment of $236.2 million (£147.7 million/€188.6 million) in the Championships, including $80 million (£50 million/€64 million) to stage them and the offer of a sponsorship and television package worth $29 million (£18 million/€23 million), as well as underwriting the cost of the $7.2 million (£4.5 million/€5.7 million) prize money.
London's presentation also contained a financial "reveal" - but it was only to cover the prize money. Yet London prevailed.
"It was very important that we did not get spooked on the issue of inducement," said a quietly jubilant Coe as he emerged from the IAAF Council chamber after the vote.
Such are Qatar's financial resources that if you were a cynical person looking at their recent success in attracting major sports events you might be tempted to recall comedian Caroline Aherne's memorable opening question to Debbie McGee in her mock chat show persona of Mrs Merton: "So what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?"
Wealth, however, is not everything, as Doha discovered during their questioning by the IAAF in November 2011.
An inadvertent televising of part of the Council proceedings revealed that the Federation was concerned about the relative lack of crowds for athletics events hosted by Doha, which staged the inaugural IAAF Diamond League meeting in 2010, with the point being made that many spectators had left the arena before the conclusion of the events.
London, by contrast, had a long history of vibrant competitions in front of packed stands - virtues which were to be replicated with stupendous effect at the following year's Olympics.
At the time of the last vote for the IAAF World Championships, Doha was on a dizzying roll. In January of 2011, Doha had won the right to host the World Handball Championships in 2015. And a month earlier, it had won one of the two greatest prizes in world sport, the football World Cup finals, which it will host in 2020.
But Qatar's triumphs of 2010 and 2011 had come with a subtext of suspicion, whether justified or not.
In the aftermath of Qatar securing the 2015 Men's World Handball Championship, a comment from Philippe Bana, technical director of the French Handball Federation (FFHB), one of three rival bidders along with Norway and Poland, resonated with ambiguity: "There is obviously a superior power in all sports."
France at the time were reigning Olympic, European and world champions. Three days after the 2015 decision they retained their world title. Qatar had failed to qualify for the 2011 World Championship, in which they had a best result of 16th in 2003.
So was it merely sour grapes from the French? Or was there something to their suggestion of unseen pressures or inducements? Suggestions which had their echo in the comments Coe made?
In the past week, the issue of Qatar's hosting the 2020 World Cup finals has been headline news around the world, first with the announcement that Qatar, and Russia, hosts for the 2018 World Cup finals, had been cleared of wrongdoing during the bidding process following an 18-month enquiry prompted by allegations of corruption.
Without question, it is FIFA which has come out worst amidst this farcical turn of events - but the twist in the tale has hardly been comforting from a Qatari perspective.
Meanwhile, there have been other disturbances in the force as far as Doha is concerned, related to political tensions in the Gulf.
Last Thursday (November 13) it was reported that Egypt had withdrawn from the World Short Course Swimming Championships that will take place in Doha from December 3 to 7.
Egypt thus became the third nation to drop out of a Qatari-hosted major sporting event in the space of a week after Monday's (November 10) withdrawal from the 2015 World Handball Championship of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates - both strong supporters of Doha's original bid for the event.
Bahrain and the UAE were said to have taken this action in protest at Qatar's alleged support of Islamist groups in the Middle East, including the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
Although not confirmed, it is believed that this was also the reason for Egypt's withdrawal from the World Short-Course Championships, although this country is still down to contest the World Handball Championship.
Al-Hamad, an impressively ambitious and astute operator, claimed on the opening day of the IAAF Evaluation Commission's visit that Doha's hosting of the World Athletics Championships would offer an opportunity to unite the Middle East at a time of conflict and discord.
"There is a lot of tension in the Middle East, and sport is the right vehicle to help the people get together," he said. "We believe that, through organising the World Championship, we will give a chance for all the people in the area to be involved."
Whether that turns out to be the case or not, what is undeniable is the ambition and technical ability of Doha, and Qatar, to facilitate elite sporting events.
Having attended all five IAAF Diamond Leagues so far hosted by Doha, I can attest that the model has been tweaked and improved each year, to the point where the 2014 meeting was a triumph in terms of both atmosphere and action, involving pulverising runs from Kenyan stars Asbel Kiprop and Hellen Obiri.
Earlier miscalculations in terms of the post-event entertainment - on one occasion the band booked were performing outside the venue and the crowds drifted out to witness the music before the athletics had finished - have been corrected. And in the last couple of years, somehow, the large, colourful and noisy contingent of Ethiopian supporters has been rivalled by a smaller but equally vocal group of Kenyan fans.
Despite all of the recent drama concerning the World Cup bid, and the political fractures in the region, Doha's resources and commitment to succeed remain formidable. The city is still widely regarded as favourite to add the outdoor World Athletics Championships to its list of honour alongside the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships it hosted so capably in the expansive surrounds of the Aspire Academy.
Meanwhile, what are the chances of Qatar's favourite athletic son in the forthcoming competition against European and African opposition in the form of France's world pole vaulter record holder Renaud Lavillenie and Kenya's world marathon record holder Dennis Kimetto?
One thing that can be said for certain is that this year's World Athlete of the Year competition will make history as there has never been a men's winner who has been a pole vaulter, high jumper or marathon runner.
Carl Lewis, winner of the first men's award in 1988 and a second three years later, earned that distinction partly on the basis of his sprinting, partly of his long jumping. Those two wins aside, however, there have been only three male field eventers to have taken the title - the British pair of javelin thrower Steve Backley in 1990 and triple jumper Jonathan Edwards in 1995, and the Czech Republic's javelin thrower Jan Železný in 2000.
In all but one of the last eight years, the men's trophy has gone to a sprinter - Jamaica's Asafa Powell won in 2006, followed by Tyson Gay of the United States, and in 2008 Usain Bolt emerged in his full world record and Olympic gold medal-winning glory to take the first of his five awards.
The only break in the recent sprint tradition came in 2010, when Kenya's David Rudisha was honoured for breaking Wilson Kipketer's 800 metres world record of 1min 41.11sec two days short of its 13th anniversary with a time of 1:41.09, before reducing it to 1:41.01 a week later.
Thankfully this contest is likely to remain free of the kind of aspersions and suspicion that have surrounded recent World Cup bids. There has only been one major blot in the history of the World Athlete of the Year award - at least according to former IAAF spokesman Christopher Winner, who told Sports Illustrated in 1996 that the vote for the 1994 female athlete of the year had been rigged at the instigation of the then President of the IAAF, Primo Nebiolo, with the result that the clear leader in the polls,
Britain's 1993 winner Sally Gunnell, the all-conquering 400m hurdler, dropped down to fifth, with the award going to Jackie Joyner-Kersee. "It was all based on who could be at the awards dinner," Winner alleged.
When Lavillenie, Barshim and Kimetto converge in Monaco - along with the three women finalists Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia, Valerie Adams of New Zealand and Dafne Schippers of The Netherlands - the competition will be close.
In terms of the women's competition, Schippers has been the surprise of the season, having turned from a top level heptathlete into a sprinter capable of winning the European 100 and 200m titles, and the Continental Cup 200m.
Dibaba has added to her extraordinary flourish during the indoor season, when she set two world records and a world best, by winning the world indoor 3,000m title and the Continental Cup title, while Adams has simply maintained her total domination of the shot put, winning the IAAF Diamond Race in that event, as well as the World Indoor and Commonwealth gold medals.
Adams probably deserves the title for her consistent quality over the last four years, but both her opponents may have caught the eye more dramatically this season.
As far as Barshim's hopes of a first Qatari win are concerned, he has been in outstanding form in what has been a uniquely competitive year for men's high jumping thanks to the quality of opponents such as Russia's Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov and, most notably, Ukraine's World champion Bohdan Bondarenko.
The Ukrainian and Qatari have effectively taken part in their own top level competition this year - both cleared 2.42m in the IAAF Diamond League meeting in New York, but at the concluding Diamond League meeting in Brussels, Barshim provided the final flourish by defeating his rival with an effort of 2.43 - a height only one man, Cuban world record holder Javier Sotomayor, has ever bettered.
Kimetto's sudden emergence to take 20 seconds off the world marathon record as he became the first man to run the distance in under 2 hours 3 minutes was a historic achievement.
But it would be a surprise if the award did not go to France's Olympic and European pole vault champion Lavillenie after his audacious eclipse of Sergey Bubka's 21-year-old world record of 6.15m by clearing 6.16 indoors in Bubka's home city of Donetsk, with Bubka himself watching from the stands.
It is going to be a fascinating week in the Principality.
Mike Rowbottom, one of Britain's most talented sportswriters, covered the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics as chief feature writer for insidethegames, having covered the previous five summer Games, and four winter Games, for The Independent. He has worked for the Daily Mail, The Times, The Observer, The Sunday Correspondent and The Guardian. His latest book Foul Play - the Dark Arts of Cheating in Sport (Bloomsbury £8.99) is available at the insidethegames.biz shop. To follow him on Twitter click here.