Organisers of the 2019 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Doha have unveiled the event mascot as an “athletic falcon” named Falah.
The winning design was chosen by the Local Organising Committee (LOC) following a nationwide competition in Qatar and was revealed at a special ceremony on the country’s National Sports Day, which is a national holiday.
In attendance at the Qatar Foundation’s Awsaj Academy was the President of the Qatar Olympic Committee HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al-Thani, several Qatari athletes and 490 school children.
The winning design - which was put forward by a Filipino expat called Theodore Paul Manuel - sees Falah the falcon emblazoned in the colours of the Qatari flag.
“Falah represents the pursuit of excellence and symbolises the importance of always giving your very best in everything you do,” Organising Committee vice-chairman and IAAF vice-president Dahlan Al Hamad said.
“These are the values and ambitions of the LOC, as we look to deliver an event that inspires a new generation and welcomes fans from all corners of the world.
“As a falcon, Falah can fly freely into new horizons without boundaries and that is our approach shaping and supporting athletics for the future.”
Manuel received QR10,000 (£2,100/$2,700€2,400) for creating the winning design and said he is “very excited” to see his idea become a reality.
School children took part in various events depending on their age during the ceremony.
Those between five and eight took part in the IAAF’s kids’ athletics programme, which aims to introduce children to the basics of running, jumping and throwing.
Those aged nine to 13 took part in a relay called the Nanairo Ediden, with teams identified by t-shirts in the seven colours of the rainbow.
They each represented one of the Olympic, Paralympic and IAAF values.
Hero the Hedgehog was the mascot for the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London and was deemed a success by organisers.
It has also been confirmed an exhibition celebrating the history of the IAAF World Championships will be in Doha for six months from April 18.
The IAAF Heritage World Athletics Championships Exhibition features text, photographic and video displays showcasing the 35-year history of the Championships and will be on display at the City Centre Doha shopping mall.
The 2019 Championships, featuring around 2,000 athletes from 213 countries, are scheduled to take place from September 27 to October 6.