Qatar's achievement in becoming the first non-European nation to reach the final of the Men's World Handball Championships shows this Gulf state is now a serious sporting competitor at world level, claimed Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, general secretary of the Qatar Olympic Committee.
"These accomplishments reflect Qatar's growing emergence on the world stage of sport," Al Thani said in the wake of last night's narrow 25-22 defeat of the host team by Olympic and European champions France.
"We are no longer simply a host and a participant but a serious competitor at the highest level. We are witnessing the realisation of a far-sighted and inspired vision for sport in Qatar and I have no doubt that this will be a catalyst for further sporting success in the future.
"Qatar is a nation passionate about sport and it has been a privilege to watch the whole of Qatar come together throughout these two weeks of world-class sport."
Looking ahead to 2022, When Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup finals, Al Thani added: "Qatar will continue to host a multitude of world-class sports events over the next several years, which include 2015 World Championships in Boxing and IPC (International Paralympic Committee) Athletics, as well as the 2018 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships and 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics.
"Our hosting of the 2015 Handball World Championships and last year's World Swimming Championships is just the start of our sporting journey, and we will continue to work hard to ensure that all these events leave a lasting legacy for many generations to come."
This year's staging of the 24th Men's World Championships was the first time in history that the event had been hosted in one city.
This enabled athletes, coaches, officials, media and fans to stay in the same hotel throughout the Championships and allowed spectators to watch more than one session per day.
"The Qatari team and all the players from around the world that participated in this event have helped to engage our nation through this exhilarating sport and inspire the next generation of sporting heroes," Al Thani said.
"Qatar is committed to the global development of sport and it was our ambition to use the hosting of these World Championships to promote handball across the whole of the Middle East and create new fans, new players, new coaches and new administrators."
Qatar constructed three brand new state-of-the art multi-purpose arenas to host the World Championships.
Last week it was announced that the Ali Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah Arena and Lusail Sports Arena had achieved a four star Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) rating, making them the first sports arenas in the region to achieve such a rating.
Both arenas will become multi-purpose halls following the Championships, with the ability to host a variety of sports including basketball, volleyball, badminton and gymnastics, as well as exhibitions and conventions.
The Ali Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah Arena has also been designed to be transformed into an ice rink, which fulfils the standards of the International Hockey Federation.
The Lusail Sports Arena, which hosted the finals, will be surrounded by a massive landscape of 350,000 square metres decorated with colorful shaded trees, walking/jogging and bicycling tracks, an outdoor covered gym and covered and open children's playgrounds.
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