Doha, Qatar: IAAF Vice President and member of Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) Dahlan Al Hamad said the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 was a rehearsal for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar. “Hosting major sporting events in Qatar is an interconnected series that complement each other,” he said.
Speaking at the Inter-regional Sports Integrity Summit 'Doha 2019', Al Hamad stressed the importance of the Integrity in Sport Summit and the discussions that could lead to solutions and methods to fight and eliminate corruption in the world of sport, expressing his happiness to participate in this summit, in which all participants share the same goal, which is a fairer future for sport.
Qatar will host the whole world at the 2019 IAAF Doha World Athletics Championships from September 27 to October 6 and the QOC member said he was hoping to see a dope-free championship, especially as the international federation is making every effort to fight corruption through sports bodies that educate future generations to stay away from steroids and other kinds of sports corruption.
Dahlan said: “We are hosting DOHA 2019, but it is for the whole region and the entire world.”
The IAAF World Athletics Championships is considered the third-largest event globally after the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup.
“Hosting the IAAF World Athletics Championships for the first time in the Middle East will provide a unique opportunity for our sport. It will connect athletics to a new audience and new fans from across the region. It will inspire a new generation of athletes, including more young females from the Middle East. It will cement a deep legacy for athletics across the region,” Dahlan said.
He also said sports development is a part of the Qatar National Vision 2030.
“In 2010, we organised the World Indoor Championships. We managed to be the centre of athletics in the Middle East and to bring such a big event to the Middle East and North Africa. So we look to sport as a means to unite and strengthen the friendship between nations. We see sport as a means to protect and engage the new generation to live better life,” he said.
The event will be hosted in Khalifa International Stadium, which is also one of the stadiums of the 2022 World Cup. The stadium is now one of most technological advanced stadium in the world – featuring LED lighting, digital floodlight and environment-friendly air conditioning technology.
When asked what about after FIFA World Cup, he said Qatar has a vision which will contribute to the global growth and development of sport.
“It’s not about only hosting mega-events. We will keep contributing in the development of the sport. We need to keep moving athletics forward and helping it evolve to ensure a successful future. We will work hard to capture the attention of young people from across the region and showcase the exciting and unmissable action of athletics through sporting innovation and creativity,” he said. Talking about the night marathon during the World Championships he said, it will be an experience for all to cherish.
“We are not the first to hold night marathon, but it’s the first at the World Championships. It will be a great experience, but our top priority is the safety of the athletes. We will take every essential step to ensure their safety during the night event,” he said.
“The countdown to this sporting spectacle is under way, with excitement growing. I am sure that Qatar’s multi-cultural society will ensure that every athlete will have a supportive fan in the stadium. This combined with Qatar’s passion for sports will create a phenomenal and unforgettable atmosphere inside the stadium,” he said.
Commenting over corruption and doping in the sport he said: “Education is key. And we as the governing body for athletics have worked hard at a global level to have stricter rules and regulations.”