By Duncan Mackay

Doha_2017_logoSeptember 5 - Doha were the first out of the blocks as they today launched their marketing campaign for its bid to host the 2017 World Athletics Championships under the slogan "The RIGHT PARTNER for a stronger World Championships".

Among the initiatives are a website showcasing the bid, which has gone live today, and a logo.

Doha, whose only opposition will be from London after, as insidethegames revealed exclusively last week, Barcelona withdrew its bid, unveiled its team which will be led by Abdullah Al Zaini, the President of the Qatar Association of Athletics Federations (QAAF).

Its team includes Aphrodite Moschoudi, a Greek, who will be the Strategic Planning Manager for the bid.

She works for the Qatar Olympic Committee and was instrumental in the successful World Indoor Championships, held in Doha last year.

Moschoudi was also involved in Qatar's successful bid for the 2015 World Hanbdall Championships, where they upset the odds and beat a rival bid from France, who were considered the favourites.

Doha have also brought in overseas expertise in the form of Australian Brian Roe, an influential member of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Technical Committee.

Among the promises that Doha is making is that the event will be held in the newly renovated, climate-controlled, state-of-the art venue, Khalifa Stadium, that will include the first ever stadium-wide 100 metre panoramic screen.

Other mission statements include working "hand-in-hand with the IAAF, we will work to overcome technical and mental barriers", including "how can athletics events be hosted in different climates – whether it is too hot or too cold opening the opportunity for many new regions to host athletics events?"

Successfully persuading the IAAF that Doha can host the World Championships is seen as vital in helping the city's bid to stage the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

As first reported on insidethegames on Saturday, Doha have requested that they are allowed to move the Championships from its traditional July and August window to later in the year to avoid the worst of the Qatari summer.

"It is possible that a date can vary," said Lamine Diack, the President of the IAAF.

"I will not be hostile to that, if it concludes the season."

His endorsement of changing the dates was a massive boost for Doha.

Other aims of Doha 2017 include "how can a tradition for athletics at the grassroots and the elite level be developed quickly in new countries around the world?"

"With world-class facilities and experience in hosting major sporting events, Doha will set new standards in athletics in a new region of the world," said Al Zaini.

"But organising a great event is not enough, we want to make a difference for the future of athletics."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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